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_...^ The shoe and caJioe or pictures of travel ih the Canadas 

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A LA : - MliCROF ILM N0R16 


I I 




IN _ I . 






aait^ tN'umcrous ^latts antl JWaqpa. 




Vol. I. 



There He setteth the poor on high from affliction; and 

maketh him families like a flock, 
and. rejoice."^ — Ps. cvii. 

The righteous shall see it 

" Make my grave on the banks of the St. Lawrence." — 
Lord Sydenham, late Governor-Gin. of British North America. 



Having in comparative leisure, for a 
period of six happy years, wandered, pencil 
and pen in hand, over the greater portion of 
the Canadas, I purpose, in the following 
pages, to present to the reader a group of 
popular pictures of their scenery and social 
condition. I 

Throufh the medium of a series of excur- 
sions, it is intended to pourtray the objects 
', which fill the traveler's eye, the life he 
leads, and the company he meets with", in 
this romantic and fertile part of North 
America. . "• 'I { 

A ready opportunity will thus be afforded 




of noticing many iniportant topics : such as 
emigration, colonial policy, Christian mis- 
•sions, the late Boundary Commission, the 
Hudson's Bay ComJ)any, and of placing on 
record some new typographical details. 

My humble but earnest wish is (and most 
disinterestedly) to show my fellow-country- 
men that Western Canada in particular is 
a pleasant land ; that it presents a variety 
of enjoyments— sport to the sportsman, in- 
spiration to the poet, excitement to the 
brave, and health to the delicate ; while, at 
the same time, it offers unfailing abundance 
to the destitute, and a haven to the home- 

Many who go thither for a year choose to 
stay all their lives; and not a few, having 
left it, are sad ailid ill at ease until the^ 
once more stand upon^the breezy shores of 
Lake Ontario. 

Like all who possess personal information 
on the subject, frpm the late Lord Metcalf 

I ;v 



downwards, I beg to recommend and urge a 
large planned emigration, under the auspices, 
though not altogether at the expense, of 
Government. ,' 

With the most complete and gratifying 
success of previous efforts at colonisation, 
with the full consciousness of wide-prevailing 
distress at home, and well aware of the mil- 
lions of rich acres in our American depend- 
encies ready for occupation, the continued 
apathy of the British people and their rulers 
seems to call for the expression of no com- 
mon indignation. , ! 

Let us then leave for a brief space the 
miseries we do not solace, the tears and 
crimes of our towns and villages, for the 
great lakes of Canada, reservoirs of crystal 
waters and wholesome airs, for the broad 
forest streams which pour into them, whose 
banks are peopled and peopling with our 
own energetic race. 

Let us contemplate the diligent stirs and 





exhaustless plenty of the new world. We 
shall find much to interest us in the august 
and singular features of the country, in its 
natural history, and in its population ; among 
whom, besides the sblemn Indian, the stereo- 
typed'French Canadian, and the enterprising 
New Englander, we shall meet with many 
originals from Eulrope ; some hiding in 
woody nooks, others standing openly in the 
sight of a commuriity too busy to bestow 
upon them more than a passing glance. 

As my pages are meant to chronicle with 
fidelity actual incidents, feelings, and facts^ 
they will tell of fpw extraordinary 
tures, and of neithei* miracles~lrer^onsters. • 

I deal not with the perishing things of 
the hour — with statistics, which (good in 
their place) are; in Canada, w kind of " dis- 
solving view," so fugitive, — that truth to-day 
^ is falsehood almost) on the morrow. Who 
can cope with tWe statistics of a great 
country like Canada West, whose popula- 


tion and capital .sometimes double in eight 
years?* ' 

My object is, I repeat, to delineate, not 
the evanescent, but some of the fixed aspects 
of this noble colony — in its waters and forests, 
in its red and white inhabitants, their "man- 
ners and prospects ; and this from notes 
carefully made on the spot, with frequent 
corrections up to the present day. 

Both my duty and my pleasure took me out 
of the common track, — into Lakes Simcoe 
Huron, Superior, &c.; into a portion of South 
Hudson's Bay, and up the River Ottawa, 
into Lake Nipissing, as well as to the rarely- 
visited Highlands of the St. Lawrence below 

Mine is a personal narrative. The reader's 
indulgence is, therefore, requested for the 
egotism which is unavoidable. The imper- 
sonal is unreadable: it is the cihrent 
incident of the day which gives transpa- 


* Ai in 1822-28, according to Sir F. Head and others. 






rency and life, 
gossip a little. 


Some may say, that I - 
This possibly may be so. 
It has happened to the wisest of men when 
beguiled by an agreeable theme. The cheerl -^ 
ful get-along style which I desire to adopt 
is now acknowledgjed to be the true descrip- 
tive ; and the stately and sonorous circum- 
locution of our forefathers is happily out of 

But I must ndt abuse the great modern 
privilege of pap^r and ink in abundance, 
with the best^of p^ns. A preface should be 
a title-page developed— a short letter of in- 
troduction, prophetic of the coming story, 
and no more. 

Cicero, too, it ii well t» remember, some- 
where lays it dow^i that an auctioneer is to ' 
be allowed one puffer;. but he does not say 
the same of an author. 

P.-S — The publlic may be congratulated 
on the possession, at a moderate cost, of the 




two charming volumes of " Canadian 
Scenery," by Mr. Bartlett. His views are 
equally beautiful and true : mine represent 
places which that gentleman did not visit, 
and were selected less for the extremely pic- 
turesque than for the characteristic. 

London, May 1850. 






The Preface . 

The Voyage to Quebec 


Walk round Quebec -^Winter — The Irish Poor — Sdtfety— Its 
materials — Anecdotes — Charivari — Public Institutiotts — The 
Vicinity . . • . • ! • . • P««e 9 



Typhus Fenrer at Hawksbury Settlement — The Seigniory of 
St. Anne de la Perade — Steam Voyage to Montreal — The Com- 
pany on Board — Montreal— Baggage Lost— Irish Emigrants at 

) Point Fortune — Local Politics — Hamilton Mills — Settlers in 
Comfort — Colonial Department — Emigration— Walk to Mont- 
real — Insane Lady . . . . .46 


j ' 




Montreal — Island, City, and Society — North-west Stories — Peter 
Pond — Boat Song — Dancing Pheasants, &c. — North-west Fur 

Traders Lake St. Lotis — Ottawa River — Light Canoe — M. de 

ARocheblave — Munitions de Bouche — ^Voyageurs — Indian Vil- 
lage — Flooded River-fOaelic Maid — American Farm — Hull — 
Philemon Wright - Likes Chaudiere and Chat — Falls of La 
Montagne and Grand Calumet — Riviere Creuse — Tesouac— The 
Western Branch— Miis Ermatinger — Lake Nipissing — French 


Page 105 


THE ST. Lawrence b£low qvebec. 

Calash Journey by Montmorenci and Chateau Riche to St. Anne 
Ferry-house— CottagdLife— Falls of St. Anne — Indian Family 
in the Woods — St. Fleriole : double Sunset — Cap Tourment — 
Walk round its Base to La Petite Riviere — Grand Scenery — 
Dangerous Precipices — Slippery Rocks — Mud up to the 
Knees — Dinner at a Cascade — An almost impassable Buttress 
— Mosquitoes — Disconsolate Arrival at La Petite Riviere — 
Boat Voyage to St. Paul's — Kindness of M. Rousseau and 
Family — The Peasantry — Earthquakes — A Tea-Party — 
Discussion with an M.P.P. — Cross the St. Lawrence to 
L'Islet — Sleep in a itay Chamber — Walk along South Shore 
to Quebec. . ... . . 172 




Steam Voyage to Kamottraska — Company on board — Anecdotes — 
Migration' of Spiders^Kamouraska — Cross in a Boat to Mal- 
bay— Mad. Brassard and her Mother — Malbay — Curious 



Mounds — Valley of St. Etienne a deserted Lake — Singular Fog 
— Earthquakes — the Musician — Anecdotes^The Peasantry — 
Aiinee's Toilet— Salmon River — Lake St. John— Homeward on 
foot by North Shore to Eboulements— HospitaUty Page 217 



lake erie and the river detroit. 

The Boundary Commission, its officers, objects, and labours, Ac."^ 
Lake Erie — Mr. Beauipont — Rev. Mr. Morse — Aniberstburgh 
— Captain Stewart and his Negroes — Chevalier and Madame de 
Brosse — Rattlesnake hunt — Indian Cure — The Prophet and 
Kickapoo Indians — Detroit — My Inn and its Guests^The Pro- 
fessor, the Judge, and the Barber — Moy — The Mennonites 242 

•■■■'• ! ^ . 

Part II. 

THE waters of THE ST. CLAIR, ETC. 

H.M. Schooner Confiance — Lake St. Clair — Sickness — Sailor shot 
—River St. Clair — Belle Riviere Island— The Sick Traveller- 
The Banished Lord— The Black River— Fort St. Clair— Thun- 
derstorms — Missionaries — Missions- Lake Erie — Boat Voyage 
— The Settlement — The Governor-General — Methodist Mis- 
sionary — His Sermon and Conversation — Religious Statistics 
and Observations — Schools — The Lake Storm — The Roman 
CathoUc . . . . . . .295 


11 l.ilWl.i 


I . 

I ' 





Map of the Vicinity of Quebec 
"^he General Map illustrating thes« Excnraions 


To/ace p. 9 
. 352 


The Village of St. Paul 
The Eboulement Mountains, from the Foot of Cap Tourment 185 

The Bay of St. Paul, from the St. Lawrence . . 187 

A View in the Parish of L' Islet orf the St. Lawrence . . 213 

Malbay and the Breach of St. Etieinne . . .226 

The Valley of St. Etienne : its tenlaces . . . 228- 

Plan of ditto . . . . . . . 228 

Capes Maillard and Tourment, frojn the Eboulement* . 239 



Voyages across the Atlantic are such every- 
day events that I shall say but little, of mine. 
They seldom have pleasant reminiscences; and 
the exploits of young gentlemen in shooting gulls 
and petrels, or in catching to their cost the 
stinging medusse, have ceased to interest. 

Steamboats have now converted such passages 
into mere courses of good eating in good com- 
pany for prescribed periods, except for ambassa- 
dors, governors of colonies, and such-like, Avho 
must still submit to the honours and head-winds 
of the Queen's frigates. i ' 

I embarked as the medical officer to a large 
detachment of a German Rifle Regiment in the 
English service, amounting, together with a few 
emigra^l families, to the number of three Hun- 
dred a^ forty souls. 

I think it was inconsiderate in our worthy 

VOL. I. '"■ B 



sea-captain to direct 
sant coasts of Hamp 
that, as we left our 
slow wain and the 
the high-roads — the 
surrounded by luxurialnt 
of yellow, green, anc 
look, and hard to 
expression, was stron 
and when the night 
^howery, a young em ; 
and was lost. 
•.It may seem culiriary 
was; — much of our C(pm 

lis course so near the plea- 

shire, Dorset, and Devon, 

native isle, we could see the 

ay chariot journeying on 

v-seats and farmsteads 

crops, in large chequers 

white. Lovely did they 

A wistful, regretful 

15 in every face on board; 

closed in, dark, raw, and 

grant leaped into the sea. 



ing talents of a worthjy 
mess. He is now a Maj 
for his services. I sqall 
with which he dail 
powders, pinch by 
orange, and the 
Their nature I know 
soup were very gratif j' 
Except a, few frig 

ended in nothing 

* 'A very elegant poet 
a day for the first tinie at I 
returned to the house where 
most. His answer was, " I 
was half a joke ; but only half. 

j' and mean ; but so it 
fort came from the cook- 
Major, who regulated our 
or-general, and knighted 
never forgj^t the felicity 
added to our soup two 

pinch; the one a bright 


of a chocolate colour. 

lot ; but their effects on the 


among the ladies, which 

, we had no mishaps 




accomplished man, who had spent 

i|<'ewstead Abbey, was asked, when he 

he was staying, what he had enjoyed 

think, my dinner." This, of course, 


worth relating but one. It forms what may be 
called " the doctor's story." 

We had had four or five days' dirty weather, 
contrary winds and high, with rain, — the seas 
sweeping over the deck so freely and often that, 
the main-hatchway was usually closed, to the 
great detriment of the air between decks. 

The sky being still dark and squally, I pro- 
ceeded to fumigate this place, the fetid abode of 
at least two hundred persons, with sulphuric 
acid and the nitrate of potass. ^ 

The sentinel stood, as usual, over the hatch- 
way, with drawn cutlass, to transmit messages 
below and to maintain order. He was a fair- 
haired young German, with the mildj simple 
look so frequent among his countrymen. I gave 
him my bottle of strong acid to hold while I 
descended by the unsteady ladder, so that he 
had both hands full. At that moment a heavy 
sea struck the ship, threw the poor German upon 
the deck, and scattered over him nearly the 
whole two ounces of burning liquid. Down 
came his cutlass upon me. He fell bellowing 
and rolling on the slushy deck like a mad- 
man. I thought he would have pushed through 
the loose flap of the bulwark into the sea. His 
shrieks and contortions were dreadful. 


I took off the upper parts of his dress, and saw- 
that the vitriol had burnt off large strips of skin 
and flesh from the face, all down the back and'' 
breast. I dashed magnesia water over him, and, 
laying myself dowi| by the poor fellow (as the 
only means of malting him drink), I contrived 
to pour down his throat, in spite of his convulsive 
throes, an hundred drops of laudanum. 

This produced aj lull. I repeated the dose 
twice at small intervals, until he was pretty well 
stupified. As the hot, stifling berth in the hold' 
would do harm, I allowed him to lie in the rain 
on the wet deck for three or four hours, and only 
padded his sol^s with fine cotton — giving from 
time to time a little more laudanum. 

As he was then becoming cold, we placed him 
in a berth below ; and he was very grateful for 
some warm tea. 

On stripping hirji further, we found his legs, 
too, were peeled. For three days he was in 
great torment; and a mqnth elapsed before he 
■was convalescent. I 

I remember but few cases -where my feelings 
■were so painfully c rawn upon as in this of the 
amiable and patientj German, The rolling, greasy 

deck, the sheets of 

rain, and the crowc iug of affrighted spectators — 

drenching spray, the falling 



together with the agony of the young soldLer 
(caused by myself), made out a scene of gloom 
and misery which quite overwhelmed me. 

During his medical treatment, the doctor and 
patient became great friends. Many were the 
tit-bits begged from the officers' mess ; apd books 
were supplied, to give pleasure and profit to the 
weary hour. 

As we lay becalmed on the banks of New- 
foundland, fishinw for cod was a great treat to all 
ranks on boaro; both in the catching with 
hook and line, and in the eating. 

The fog was so penetrating as to soak with 
moisture the blankets in our state-cabins : and 
yet no one caught cold ; and so dense was it, 
that sometimes we could not see the length of 
our small vessel. 'I 

Not being certain of our position^ a boat, into 
which I jumped, was sent out to sound. The 
sailors soon learnt where they were from the 
nature of the bottom. 

During our absence, kettles, bells, and bugles, 
were kept sounding terrifically' on board the good 
ship, or we never should have found it again ; 
for at twenty yards' distance we lost sight of her. 
I shall never forget the vast magnifying effect of 
the mist on the ship, her spread sails, shrouds, 
and cordage- She loomed into sight an im- 





raense white mass, filling half the heavens. 
Young travellers should, on principle, be always 
placing themselves within reach of new im- 

Our German Uldiers were remarkably docile 
and good-humoured. Every tolerable evening, a 
party of them sat in the forecastle^ upon the beam 
which carries the ship's bell, and sang in parts 
the beautiful airs of their fatherland. 

We sailed clofee past the Isle of St. Paul in 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and thence onwards, 
very favourably. One fine mornihg, looking 
through th^ porthole of my little cabin, with jojf 
and surprise I saw a pretty sliore about half a 
mile off— a crescent beach of bright yellow sand, 
with low rocks and woods behind. It was a 
bight on the cOajst of Labrador, where we had 
anchored during the night in a fog. 

We soon set teail again, and in due time 
anchored off App|e Island, sixty or seventy miles 
below Quebec. 

While waiting for a favourable tide we went 
on shore, and foilnd the island loaded with ripe 
bilberries XVacci\iium Canadense), and in its 
centre a spring ofj pure fresh water, bubbling up 
from beneath a sn^ooth brown rock. The sugar- 
New Brunswick were on the 
remote distance, and a low, 

loaf mountains of 
south-east in the 



rugged wilderness on our, north, with a few 
fishermen's huts on the margin of the water. 

Only those who have been pent up among the 
evil scents and dissonant noises of a ship can 
estimate the*pleasure of a wash, a fragrant stroll, 
and a banquet, upon the juicy fruit of America 
for the first time. 

Awaking early next morning, we found the 
anchor raised and our ship driving rapidly up a 
magnificent but slowly narrowing gulf, twenty to 
thirty miles broad. On our north were moun- 
tainous forests, dimpled and cut through by 
populous valleys (Eboulements. St. Paul) ; while 
on the soutl^shore we saw gentle uplands, for 
the most part cultivated, with the white dwell- 
ings of the peasantry picturesquely beading the 
edge of the river St. Lawrence. 

By this time we had a first-rate river-hurricane. 
Two sails were blown to rags. Tide assisting, we 
drove on under bare poles, at the rate of seven- 
teen to eighteen miles an hour. The winds tore 
off the sharp white crests »of the waves, and 
dashed them in our faces. Two or three of those 
sportive fish called " thrashers," a kind of whale, 
of a shining white colour, were not far off, rush- 
ing about in uproarious pastime, and occasionally 
flinging themselves out of the sea bodily. It was 
a n^st animating scene. 




We soon came abreast of the large island of 
Orleans, and pursued a narrow channel between 
it and the south shore for ten or twelve iniles, 
when a most splendid panorama burst upon our 
sight, as we began to cross a basin in front of 
Quebec, more than a league broad. 

To the left we had the pine-clad rocks, scat- 
tered white houses, and trim churches of Point ^ 
Levi ; to the right, the lengthy village of Beau- 
fort, and the graceful cascade of Montmorenci, 
screened by purple mountains. Before us, in 
front, was the fine city of Quebec, crowning a 
lofty promontory, and alternately in gloom and 
gleam with the pcud of the tempest ; while the 
battlements of (Jape Diamond, overlooking the 
city, were seen to extend out of sight up the 
now contracted river. Some vessels of war, with 
crowds of merchant-ships and steamers, fringed 
the shore.* Imagination had no difficulty in 
placing this noble and varied picture in its ap- 
propriate frame, " the amplitudes of savage and 
solitary nature" all around, and reaching to the 
Arctic circle. 

* Among other veiels was ope which left Portsmouth on the 
same day that we did, and arrived three hours before us, without 
our having once seen each other on the voyage. 






Walk round Que1)^C> — ^iVin^er — The Irish Poor — Society, its 

Materials — Anecdotes — Charivari — Public Institutions — The ' ■ :''>^ 
Vicinity, &c. . • i ^ 

We soon cast anchor. I landed on one of tke " 
quays of the lower town, and found myself amid 
a jumble of dingy, heavy-built houses and ware- 
houses, overhung by very high, perpendicular 
rocks in smooth sheets, and bearing on their 
brow, so far as I could see fr^ hence, princi- 
pally, the broad fagade of the Chateau St. Louis, 
the residence of the Governor-general. 

A little way from the water's edge, Mountain 
Street begins to wind up a cleft in the precipice :? 
laboriously steep. 

One-third of the way up I looked down Break- 
neck Stairs,* a long flight of steps leading down 
to the narrow and picturesque Champlain Street. 

* So called from an officer having ridden down them without 
breaking his neck. 





Continuing my, upward course, I at length 
thankfully found level ground on the terrace" of 
the House of As^mbly, from whence, sitting on 
a shotted cannon, ipy sailor friends and the Whole 
river scene could bte espied. 

A {ew stone stejs and the turning of a corner 
or two soon brought me to the Albion Hotel, 
in the Place d'Armes, the open space near the 
English church, where I found my military fellow 
voyagers refreshing themselves right merrily. 

This having been done to our complete satisfac- 
tion we determined upon a ramble, and thought 
It best to make for the highest point first; from 
thence to master tV principal bearings and fea- 
tures of our new hbme, for such to most of us 
was Quebec to be. | • 

We soon stand ipon one of the summits of 
Cape Diamond, 347 feet above the river. 

Of the fortress itself we may only prudently 
say that it is, externally, an assemblage of low, 
thick, stone walls, pierced with portholes, running 
here and there according to the form of the ground 
and the rules of art. Walled ditches are without, 
and Jow barracks, Storehouses, and magazines 
withm; and everywhere officers, soldiers, and 
artificers, are moviilg Jabout in their diflPerent 
vocations. { 

From this commafading elevation the eve de- 



lights itself in a scene unrivalled in the western 
world for grandeur, variety, and picturesque 
beauty. There is nothing comparable, either at 
New York, Boston, or Philadelphia. 

South-westwards (up the river) we have, rising 
in woody steeps, about 300 feet above the St. Law- 
rence, the battle-plain of Abraham, now a stony 
pasture and race-course, but for ever memorable 
as the spot where died Wolfe and Montcalm, 
— men of views, and aims, and qualities far in 
advance of their age. The plain- is shut in by 
pine-woods, which hide several pretty villas and 
all the country beyond. 

Behind me, as I now stand, and far below, the 
tide runs roughly and swiftly up the river.* Im- 
mediately at our feet lies the dusky and dense 
city of Quebec, with its houses, churches, con- 
vents, barracks, and, other public edifices, all 
gloomy and heavy roofed, stretching away in^o 
the gradually vailtshing suburbs of St. John and 
^St. Roque. :. 

* The river channel was not worn down and formed by itself, 
but left after some great convulsion, which raised the promontory 
of Quebec to its present height. Its rocks have been wpheaved 
and torn violently from the adjacent and continuous horizontal 
strata of limestone. The black limestone of Quebec is perpen- 
dicular, or at a Very high angle, while its kindred rock all over 
Canada and the state of New York is horizontal, lying now as it 
was deposited. 





We observe that the city is completely girt 
with military defenjces, with occasionally a mas- 
sive gate, and empty spaces within the walls, 
either for promenades or markets. 

\¥e hear a regimental band playing on the 
esplanade, near the St. Louis gate, before a crowd 
of soldiers and spectators. 

Passing the eye noi-thwards over the city, it 
crosses seven miles pr more of a rough, partially- 
cultivated country, dotted with houses, to rest 
upon a range of steep wooded mountains, which 
strike the St. Lawrence at Cape Tourment; a 
black headland, remote, but still high and im- 

Looking now easterly, we have below us the 
ample basin of Quebec, alive with ships ; and the 
placid island of Orlfeans on the far side, twenty 
miles long, and almost filling up the river. 

The immediate ^outh shore, we perceive, is 
rugged and high, occupied with dwellings, and 
farms near at hand, while the more distant re- 
gion, the valley of th^ ChaudiSre chiefly, is a sea of 
undulating forests, extending within sight, I verily; 
believe, of the frontiers of the United States.* 

* In winter this whole seene is most splendid, but in a different 
way. With the exception of the high-pitched roofs of the houses 
in the town beneath, whose smooth metallic coverings will not 
allow the snow to rest, the hues of summer are gone. The whole 
region — the city, suburbs, environs, the plains and slopes, with 







Let us now descend into the town. It is a 
strange place to the mere Englisb. In its archi- 
tecture it is French, or perhaps it resembles yet 
more the serai-palatial massiveness of Augsburg. 

Standing aloft in the air, swept in winter by 
iSiberian blasts, thick walls and double windows 
are indispensable at Quebec, f - 

the farm fences— lie asleep, as it were, under a vast envelope J 
of snow, crystalUne and dazzling white, whUe the steeper parts of 
the sugar-loaf mountains are of a glowing purple. 

The St. Lawrence looks dull and. leaden, full of ice-fields, with 
here and there an up-torn tree, the sport of the incessant tides, 
forming a singular contrast by its drear aspect with the gUttering 
snow and sapphire sky. 

Every morning during winter, while at breakfast, 1 had before 
me the animating sight of hundreds of the peasantry crossing vrith 
laden ianoes the boUterous strait between Point Levi and Quebec, 
at one time pushing their canoes across the floes, and at another 
paddling through clear water. About every third winter these 
wandering sheets of ice become fixed, jammed up by a strong 
wind, and cemented together by two or three sharp nights. This 
is an event of public interest, and very useful. 

A couple of hundred soldiers are sent to mark out the road, by 
planting young pines at short distances, and winding among high 
mounds of upheaved sheets and blocks of ice. ^ 

A very picturesque scene it is. We are in a deep trough or 
chasm : on the one side are the Lauzon Precipices (Point Levi 
continued), fringed with pines ; and on the other the city, with its 
roofs and spires sparkling under a cloudless sun. Indeed the skies 
are here perfectly Italian, except during the snow-storms, which, 
by the way, for violence must be seen to be appreciated. 

I have repeatedly observed, in severe frosts, the singular fact,— 
that when the snow has been hard packed it rings on being struck, 
or clinks, like basalt or greenstone. 



This elevation, however,- has its advantages 
also, particularly in ijhe heats of summer; and 
there is scarcely a tur^ or opening in any of the 
streets which does not present to the surprised 
and charmed sight an exquisite picture of bright 
waters and mountains^ framed in the time-stained 
rampart or moulderiftg convent wall. My friend, 
Mr. Adams, C. E., niade a beautiful series of 
coloured sketches of these peeps, which I greatly 
coveted. ' 

As I am not writing topography, I shall simply 
say that we soon fouid ourselves in a grotesque 
old market-place, admirably delineated by Bart- 
lett, with a blackened Jesuits' college, now a bar- 
rack, on one side, arid a large unsightly Roman 
Catholic cjiurch opp(|site ; the two other sides 
being filled up with ajitique dwellings, their roofs 
pierced with windows 

ace there diverge a number 
beetle-browed houses, and 
some sleepy retail shops, leading either into the 
country by some sentinelled gateway, or down to 
the Lower Town. 

East of the markdt-place is St. Louis Street, 
long, broad, and handsome, the residence of many 

esplanade, already alluded 
end ; the English church. 

From the market-p 
of streets with stiff. 

officials. It has the 
to, at its south-west 

the Place d'Arraes, arid, until lately, the Chateau 




St Louis, at its riorth-east end. The chateau 
w:sburn't down not long ago, and its s.te con. 

verted into a promenade of extreme beauty 

There is at the head of Mountam Street a 
eonven ent House of Assembly, overlookmg the 
St Lawrence Basin, and an extensive pile of 
buUdings used as a Catholic sem^^^^^^^ 

Havmg mentioned the respectable Court of 
Juft ce and the Albion Hotel, now converted m 
public offices, I do not leave unnot.ced any very 
prominent structure. ^^^ ^^^ 

The suburbs of bt. l^ouis, oi 
Rle, although large, are mere rec.ang,J^ 
^^ets ot«oodeuhou«, for .he ™os. part »- 

paved. a„. on,, «Uh-*n.- ;;j:t; 

walks of squared logs, to Keep lue ^ 

:„ „; the deep quagmire »h>eh si. month, out 
,he twelve reign, triumphant In the jna - 

„y. Near St. Roque B a spae.ou. and hand 
Je hospital, built under the French regme^ It 
is in full employ. rharles 

Near St. Eoque. also, the I'"" f ' f "'^. 
™s,es from the mountains to-jom the St. Law 
rlnce Around Its slimy embouehure are varjous 
Treweries and shlp-building esU>hllshmen.s. wh^ 
Jth the timber trade form the staple occupat.on. 

°' Wetete never allowed to forget that we were 





in a military stronghoM, especially when we ap- 
proached the outskirts, bristling and defiant with 
Its covered ways, walls, and bastions, its cannon 
and pyramids of iron balls guarded by jealous 
sentries innumerable. We meet not only the 
French shopkeeper, the active and somewhat as- 
suming English merchaht,the sea-captain and his 
ruddy, whiskered sailors^ but everywhere and con- 
tmually, military of all arms, palpably forming 
■an important portion of »he general population. 

The French physiognomy and manners every- 
where prevail. The yo^g have usually slight 
figures, short faces, and Jlark, quick eyes; the old 
are very wrinkled, but the step is firm, the fire of 
the bright eye unquenched, and many a mouth is 
made happy by a short pipe. 

I was surprised to find pigtails lingerin-r 
among the old men, arjiong other relics of the 
days of Louis XV., and therefore did not wonder 
in 1837 on being told th^t a grenadier of Auster- 
litz and Friedland finds himself at home as beadle 

of the large church of St. Mark on the banks of 
the Richelieu. r 

All the native Canadians of the working class 
are dressed in a coarse ^rey cloth of their own 
manufacture, with the .^arm hooded capote in 
winter, of the same colour, bound close to the 
body by a worsted sash od many gay hues 


The women of the lower orders, dressed in 
purple and red, as in Normandy, are noisy and 
brisk. They have the easy, elastic walk, and the 
amiable look, of their sisters in France, the same 
neatly-clad feet, the same ready ability and self- 
confidence. You may see some few charming 
faces and figures among the very young ; but the 
climate, the stoves, the hard work, and especially 
the early loss of teeth, destroy all this before the 
attainment of their thirtieth year. 

We do not go far into the streets without meet- 
ing an Indian or two, squalid and abject, not 
revelling in vermillion and feathered finery, like 
their brethren of the far interior. In the course 
of the ensuing winter I soon found out, that if we 
hear the multitudinous barking of curs in the 
street, it is caused by their besetting and snapping 
at Indians, who have come from the woods, or 
from their village of Lorette, to beg, or to sell 
game and baskets. 

The extreme antipathy of town-bred dogs to 
Indians partly arises from their peculiar odour, 
which is perceptible at some distance, but to me 
is not disagreeable.* The Indians take little more 

* A short time ago the Indians of the Rtd River settlement 
memoriaUsed the Church Missionary Society to send them a 
missionary — not a new one, but the Rev. Mr. Cockran, who, said 
they, " was accustomed to their stink." 

VOL. I. C 


qvebe: and its environs. 

notice of this annqyance than an occasional lunge 
with a stick at ajny dog who comes too forward. 
The troops of lar^e wolfish dogs which rush upon 
the traveller, ridipg or on foot, as he enters any 
Canadian village^ is a great nuisance. They 
accompany him, as he traverses the place, with 
open mouth and loud cries, beyond the very last 
house. I 

It is high time to put an end to this our first 
and very gratifying walk round Quebec. On our 
return to the hotejl, our affable landlady surprised 
.us at supper with some prime beaver- tail, which 
gave rise to much talk and many opinions as to 
its merits; and the next day, dining at a regi- 
mental mess, I pirtook of a sparerib of bear, and 
found it excellentL 

In common witb several of my ship companions 
I wintered in this city, and collected the desultory 
observations whiqh now follow. 

I scarcely kno-^ of anything more interesting to 
~^a man of an actjive and inq^ing spirit than a 
winter residence at Quebec. 

If it be pleasant to dwell among an intelligent 
and proverbially social commuhity ; if, taking 
higher ground, it be pleasant to be a sympathising 
observer amid a people educating for great desti- 
nies, busily work ng out their material prosperity 



by means of their great river, and its mediter- 
raneans of fresh water (gifts inestimable), planting 
and fostering the institutions of science, charity, 
and religion; then Quebec is an eminently desir- 
able abode and watch-tower. 

At Quebec we have all the singularities and 
novelties of Tobolsk, without a Russian governor, 
his fiery beard, and fetters. 

The town stands so high that all the atmospheric 
changes of a Siberian climate, so gloomy and so 
brilliant by turns, are in full display. Many of 
the houses look directly upon the wilderness, its 
mountains and floods, so that from your double- 
windowed drawing-room you can witness in the^r 
birth and explosion either the black-grey, blindmg, 
choking snow-storm of the cold season, or the 
almost unequalled electric tempests oj the warm. 
To gaze upon the aurora borealis of this region is 
worth a long voyage. 

In the streets we walk, with spikes in our shoes, 
upon ice three and six feet thick, in heavy fur 
caps and wrappers. We meet with milk for sale, 
carried about in cabbage-nets ; frozen fish, which 
come to life again; we see stout little horses 
pinned, or all but pinned, to the ground by icicles 
Miginiifrom their noses, sometimes three feet long. 
Twicl within five minutes I have informed 
persons that tteir nose or e^r was frost-bitten. 

It > 



Sunshine and the heavens are usually as bright 
as in Italy. 

It is then that you daily hear in the streets a 
concert of musicjal horsebells, giving notice that 
one or other of t% numerous cavalcades of elegant 
sledges are in motion, filled with beauty "and 
fashion, lying wa^m in a profusion of furs. They 
are on tlieir way, jn long lines, to some well-known 
place of resort, as Lake Charles or Montmorenci, 
or are merely paijading the town, as the wont is ; 
and it is a charmijng sight. 

The sportsman has free scope for his skill and 
endurance in the iieighbourhood of Quebec. Elks, 
bears, and deer, may be found in their native 
woods at no great distance, but fifty or sixty miles 
off they are always to be encountered, with the 
assistance of the Lorette Indians. Snipe wild 




duck, &c. &c. are Abundant much nearer.* 
It is true that Quebec, in north latitude 47°, 
"pt. Petersburgh in north lati- 

has the winter of 

* To see a sportsman, 

as you may here occasionally do, drifting 

slowly down a wmtry in a white boat, disguised by an ice 
hke pde of white calico, towards, and 6nally into, a flock of wild 
ducks peacefully feeding, is a painfiiUy interesting sight. The 
discharge takes place. Up rise the affrighted birds ; ten or twenty 
are struggling, wounded, in the water; and the eiultins: fowler 
collects his prey. 

On this subject I know no book so life-like and entertaining a» 
Tolfrey s " Sportsman in Canada." To this inexpensive work I 
refer the reader altogether for information on this head. " 

tude 60°, and, at the same time, a summer more 
oppressively hot than Paris. 

Its mean annual temperature is 37° 5' Fahr., 
that of London being 49°. There is perhaps no 
part of the world where the annual range of the 
thermometer is greater than at Quebec ; it is 
here 128°. In the course of a day I have seen a 
descent of from 37° Fahr. to 28° below zero. 

Three principal reasons have been adduced by 
Dr. Rolph of Toronto to explain the fact of North 
America being much colder than Europe in the 
higher corresponding latitudes. 

They are, first, the greater proximity of the 
vast body of ice and snow stretching southwards 
from the Arctic regions ; secondly, the multitudes 
of frozen lakes in Hudson's Bay ; and thirdly, 
the absence of a mountain barrier to screen the 
Canadas from the cold winds of the north-wesi 
and west. 

These, I may add, are the prevailing winds, 
and bring to the Atlantic coasts not only the 
Arctic temperature, but the extreme cold of the 
Rocky Mountains, and the bare and lofty plains 
on their east. j 

Lower Canada is, in fact, placed in the zone of 
transition between the polar and temperate cli- 
mates, and would have been probably far colder* 
than it is, were it not for the admirable provision 

P l! 



of nature, that water, in freezing, liberates a 
large amount of htat whicli had been latent, and 
so raises the general temperature. 

that the longer the European 

It is remarkable 

remains in Lower Canada the more susceptible he 

becomes of cold. 

wrappings gradual 
buried in furs and 
heats of India. 
Dr. Kelly, in an 


For the first two or three 

winters he scarcelj' feels it; but afterwards his 
ly increase, till at last he is 
woollens. So it is with the 

excellent paper published in 

the third volume ofjthe " Literary and Historical 

Society of Quebec, 

mentions that the average 
mortality of Canadian towns is nearly double that 
of the country. He accounts for this by stating, 
(I know it too well) there is 
of cleaning the streets; that 
the public sewers ar^ in such a state that some of 
the houses in one jof the principal streets are / 
scarcely habitable kt times from stench. He/ 
adds, that the sewers open into the lower town 
most offensively. The suburbs, with few excep- 
tions, have neither plaving nor sewers. After the 
melting of the snopv, in April and May, the 
streets of the flat sUurb of St. Roche become 
ponds or sloughs |f ice, melting and mixing 
with the accumulated putridities of the whole 



I hope there are few towns in Christendom 
where such an amount of disease and desti- 
tution exists as ui Quebec. There are still 
fewer, I am sure, where it is met by a charity 
so untiring by the various Christian denomina- 
tions. I shall not record the names of those 
who were most conspicuous in this holy labour ; 
they have no wish to be known beyond the 
sphere they adorn and bless. This misery does 
not touch the native poor, but the fever-stricken, 
naked, and friendless Irish — a people truly 
" scattered apd peeled" — who year after year are 
thrown in shoals upon the wharfs of Quebec 
from ships which ought to be called "itinerant 

These unwelcome outcasts are crowded, without 
proper provision, into vessels fitted up almost 
slave-ship fashion, by the agents of impoverished 
and unprincipled landlords, who rely on the pub- 
lic and private commiseration of the western 
world ; and it has been taxed beyond endurance. 
Much of the guilt, certainly, lies upon the Irish 
Government, who do little or nothing to prevent 
so frightful a state of things. Thus matters con- 
tinue to the present hour, I believe; worse rather 
than better. I ' 

These poor creatures, on landing, creep into 
any hovel they can, with all their foul things 

I ! 




about them. Whea they are so numerous as to 
figure in the streets, they are put, I believe by 
the Colonial Government, into dilapidated houses, 
with something like rations, of which latter the 

worthier portion of 
but little : they are 

the emigrants are apt to see 
clutched by the clamorous. 
The filthy and crowded state of the houses, the 
disgusting scenes going on in them, can only be 
guessed by a very h\)U imagination. I have trod 
the floor of one of stich houses, almost over shoes 
in churned and s<)dden garbage, animal and 
vegetable. It requilred dissecting-room nerves to 
bear it. i . 

After starving abjout Quebec for months, the 
helpless Irishman a^d his family begin to creep 
up the country on charity or government aid, 
and thus strew th4 colony with beggary and 
disease. A Quebek winter does not allow of 
lazzaronism. Some perish, some are absorbed 
into the general peculation, and many more go 
into the United States. 

For six winter mo|nths I was medical officer to 
the emigrants at Qutebec, whether in hospital or 
. in forlorn lodgings ; until, in fact, I nearly lost my 
life by typhus and dysentery. While so em- 
ployed, I have often been deeply interested in the 
history of individual [families, in their misfortunes 
from villany, inexpeiience, sickness, and the like. 



The resignation manifested by young and old has 
been marvellous ; and more than once have I had 
the pleasure of seeing my poor friends led on, 
in the course of time, even to prosperity. 

Many of the beds in the low lodging-houses of 
Quebec are in recesses made in the walls. Not 
unfrequently, when I have entered on duty a 
dark and crowded apartment, containing several 
of these impure holes, I have seen a large black 
mass of clothes half thrust into one of them. It 
was the present excellent Bishop of Montreal 
(Dr. Mountain), in his bulky winter dress, admi- 
nistering religious instructioh to the sick, utterly 
regardless of the poison he was breathing, and 
anxiou^ only to console and succour. 

His lordship reads the service of Common 
Prayer in a very singular manner, no doubt uncon- 
sciously. On my first hearing him, and not being 
acquainted with his apostolic character, I could 
not help smiling; but when 1 found out whose 
faithful disciple and servant he was, I smiled no 

more. • j 

The remedies for the miseries I have been 
" briefly describing lie in a well-paid and well- 
organised system at home for the licensing and 
inspection of emigrant ships ; and another in the 
colonies for the reception and distribution of the 




Society at Quebec 
ing of the word, as 
acquirements, good 
of a very superior an 
in summer, becausje 
absent or extremely 

new comers, especially during the present tran- 
sition state of Ireland. 

, in tHe usual accepted mean- 
formed of people of talent, 

income, and good temper, is 

i varied kind ; not, however, 
then every one is either 

The materials for i his good society are furnished 
by the vice-regal co irt, the ministers of religion, 
the numerous members of the Colonial Legis- 
latures, the courts of law, the French gentry 
coming in fromtheij" seigniories, the professions, 
the large garrison. I am sorry to place (acci- 
dentally) last in tqis list the truly respectable 
and hospitable class of resident merchants and 
their families, whp, although overworked in 
summer, are permitted in winter to indulge in a 
well-earned repose. During this season the Ca- 
nadian capital exhibits a perpetual flow of dinners, 
balls, /;oncerts, governor's receptions, piic-nic 
parties, &c. &c., foit men of gob(d income. For 
the poor soldier, and the labourmg class gene- 
rally, the only recreation is, or was, that of the 
dram-shop and canteen, 

I served under two governors-general, the 
late Duke of Richmond and the late Earl of 





Dalhousie,-two men, though both bcotchmen I 
think, as dissimilar as could well be found 

The Duke was Irish all over, frank, benevo- , 
lent, sanguine, expensive, a lover of sporting men, 
and of an occasional gentlemanly carouse. 

la the exercise of his public functions he was 
xnost probably bound band and foot to the narrow, 
policy of the Castlereaghmmistry. 
^ The Duke of Richmond died of hydrophobia 
very distressingly in the backwoods of the R.ver 
Ottawa. A Plantagenet dying thus m a hovel m 
a Canadian wild might be made a very searching 
text He was popular and much lamented. 

Lord Dalhousle was a very favourable specimen 
of the Scottish mind. He was a quiet, studious, 
domestic man, faithful to his word and kind 
but rather dry. He spoke and acted by measure, 
as if he were in an enemy's land ; and so, m 
truth, he was, because, in the face of the mos 
powerful and determined opposition, he was 
honestly carrying out, as well as 1- -uR ^e 
instructions of ill-informed men residing three 
thousand miles away. j 

Both these noblemen exercised a generous 

'^S^y D^llhousie was a pattern of every virtue 
to the whole colony, an accomplished and hi^ly 
educated pe«on. She received her company 



^ith a quiet, selftpossessed grace wli,Vl, u-, • 
encoura^^efi ih. ♦ • i ^ ' ^^"<=h, while it 

liaritv of t '"^ ' ''P'"^'^ ^'^^ ""due fami- 

i'anty of her protoiseuous visitors. She had Th. 

woSd III r ■ P^-'o-ally amiaWe. The. 
Hey did little m„l t °''' ''"' ' 'oar 

TZ ■ " T ' "'■'" '"O*- and a better 

How beaulifcl it is to „tch the eiTeot, „„„„ 
a <^°ngrega.ioa of .„ earnest n,i„is," !!,„ ^ 

saddenlythey hurJtLT '°^' """ 


manifests itself in rio- . • ' ^"^^V^h^ch 

A congregation thus becomes one compact sni , 

glory ,n a thousand way,,_as a refuge for the 
».nfnl and miserable, a training-scboo, fo" the 



young, a support to the feeble and aged, and a 
buckler to the oppressed. 

But what is a congregation now, too fre- 
quently ? Its members know nothing of each 
other; and often sit as coldly and unconcernedly 
in I a church as in a railway waiting-room. 

Quebec always had a well-conducted garrison, 
men and officers in a high state of efficiency and 

I recollect weH that we had the dashing aud 
dressy ensign, the more prudent lieutenant, the 
sententious field-officer,, and the thoughtful and 
reserved general in command, with his high-bred 
aides-du-camp, — the latter, frivolous as they may 
occasionally seem at his excellency's table, when 
the pinch comes usually shew that they are gal- 
lant and capable men. , 

There were here in the army a few fast men — 
some of them full of misapplied talent — fountains 
of fun and laughter which never failed. I think 
it hardly possible to excel the mime and panto- 
mime of two gentlemen in particular ; whom to 
describe more nearly would not be fair, as they 
are yet among the living, and not noted for 
gravity. [ 

I shall never forget the life-like description, 
pronounced and acted - by one of these merry 



With a quiet, ^elf-^ossessed grace, which, while it 
encouraged the timid, repelled the undue fami- 
liarity of her promiscuous visitors. She had the 
precous art of making the right people talk, and 
to some agreeable or useful purpose. She herself 
excelled m m„^iat«re-painting and botany. 

clelv" Th'"'' '' "' "^P"^^"^ *^^ Q-^- 
Clergy. They were personally amiable. They 

worked the outward machinery of the Church 
of England wit), professional accuracy, but I fear 
they did httle imore than visit and relieve the 
^ck when called upon. The archdeacon. Dr 
Mountain, however, of whom mention has a'lready 
been made, was a priest after another and a better 

How beautif,|I it is to watch the effects upon 
a congregation of an earnest ministry -to see 

how the little. W lamps of love and service 
hght up, one after another-how they bnVhten 
enlarge and multiply under the teaching, until' 
suddenly they b«rst into one great and beLficent 
Illumination, which cannot be hid, and which 
nianifests itself i„ painstaking labours for the 
souls and bodied of men. 

A congregation thus becomes one compact spi- 
ritual host, prepared to work for their Master's 
glory m a thousand ways,-as a refuge for the 
sinful and miserable, a training-school for the 




young, a support to the feeble and aged, and a 
buckler to the oppressed. 

But what is a congregation now, too fre- 
quently ? Its members know nothing of each 
other; and often sit as coldly and unconcernedly 
in a church as in a railway waiting-room. 

Quebec always had a well-conducted garrison, ^ 
•men and officers in a high state of efficiency and 

I recollect well that we had the dashing and 
dressy ensign, the more prudent lieutenant, the 
sententious field-officer, and the thoughtful and 
reserved general in command, with his high-bred 
aides-du-canip. — the latter, frivolous as they may 
occasionally seem at his excellency's table, when 
the pinch comes usually shew that they are gal- 
lant and capable men. 

There were here in the army a few fast men — 
some of them full of misapplied talent — fountains 
of fun and laughter which never failed. I think 
it hardly possible to excel the mime and panto- 
mime of two gentlemen in particular ; whom to 
describe more nearly would not be fair, as they 
are yet among the living, and not noted for 
gravity. | 

I shall never forget the life-like description, 
pronounced and acted by one of these merry 


i : 


sprites, of an old original Dugald Dalgetty (a Ger- 
man colonel)^ being canted out of a sledge into a 
snow-wreath^the torrent of abuse in bad English 
—the grima<tings, the flight of passions across 
his face, the groom's explanations, and the final 
settling of the storm into the good colonel's usual 
stiff and silent complacency. 

Of course the fast men were often in difficulties. 
There was in the garrison a very handsome lieu- 
tenant (now dtead). He was an universal favourite 
for his variou^ social qualities ; but he had little 
or no private fortune, and good society requires 
a full purse. He therefore got into arrears with 
his tailor and others. 

At this tim^ there resided at Quebec a man of 
immense weal|;h and much generosity. The lieu- 
tenant one mbrning boldly laid his case before 
this Croesus, is many other respectable persons 
had done theirs, and successfully. He instantly 
received a cheque for the required amount. Six 
months afterwards the young officer returned 
with a similar tale. The rich man looked very 
blue upon hin^, and saying, '« Sir, I am sorry to 
perceive that y(|)ur indebtedness is not an accident, 
but a habit," he retired into his bedroom. After 
waiting for his return in vain for a quarter of an 
hour, Lieutenaiit W. retired. 






Mr. N. was a plain, quiet man, of about fifty 
years of age, and occupied a parlour and bedroom 
at a hair-dresser's in Mountain Street. His charities 
were very large, and at the- same time judicious. 
He had been very poor at Quebec a year or two 
previous to succeeding to afgrtune of from 15,000Z. 
to 20,000/. per annumTabout the year 1822, and 
was then glad to accept an occasional dinner 
. from a little schoolmaster in the >U)wer Town. 
Upon him Mr. N. settled an annuity of 200/. 

The whole history of this gentleman is a ro- 
mance — his agreement with the schoolfellow 
who left him his fortune that the survivor should 
take all ; their separation for life ; the shipwreck 
and other misfortunes of Mr. N.; his cultivating 
a little barren patch in Labrador when advertised 
for as the owner of a princely property ; his sub- 
sequently living on one of the lonely but beauti- 
ful Hero Islands in Lake Champlain, made cele- 
brated in Cooper's "Last of the Mohicans ;" and 
his final removal to one of the less frequented 
cantons of Switzeriand, where he became natu- 
ralised, and not long after died. 

Among the great variety of capacities and dis- 
positions afforded by the other portions of general 
society there was ample room for selection, from 
grave to gay, from the scientific to the elegant 





Z !■" ° ,"'"""'»". f"» °f "». anecdote, and 
start -„g „„«„„,_„„, ^,„^^^ ^^^ soundest-the 

h.gllyg.ftecl «,„ of ,he mo., popuw „f „„ ,,„. 

wnters (Judge Blackstone), was alway, lanpyl 

decant over . moderate „ia.e„p „i.u' a kfnla 

spirit until sunrise. 

Another son of the law, a district judffe was 
qn..e as remarkable a personage. He L\ \ZZ 
pale-faced n,a„, „dd, afent, „„e,„al, ingenio!! 
far beyond ordinary „e„, lear„ed\„d esZ, 
abo„nd„g ,„ aJl k„„w,edge sa.e .ha. whichLgh; 
profit h„nse]f. He was as artle. ^ a child, eve 

on h« door-step, ,„ colonial ,i„pliei,,,, „.„, ' 

ont to .be passer-bj that .he poi«,n was ripeni J 

a^tha. he. honld explode soon in hyd,;hobS 
"«e He was mistaken, and lived several years 
after o lose bi, <,ffi,, j^ ^„^^ blander or o^her 
He d,ed ,„ the Eastern .ownships. He po Jssrf 
a 'cry large and excellent library ' 

Any one fond of polities „igh, interest himself, 
bnt not n„„gle, i„ ,i,e ^3,^0 and unceasing 
struggle gotngo. between the Governor-grc"! 
-ft las officiate and the House of AsseTb™ 




t)oth parties ardent and able, the foremost on 
each side trained by an European and legal edu- 
cation, as well as thoroughly well informed in 
.•everything relating to the personages and trans- 
actions of the mother-country. 

In Lower Canada tliere is a very considerable 
number of ancient French families, worthily bear- 
ing the high-sounding names of Old France, such 
«s Du Plessis, De Salaberry, and Montizambert. 
Some possess a good deal of landed property ; 
others hold secondary official situations. From 
one reason or another — the late dinner-hour or 
the stiff manners of tiie English — they seldom 
appear out of their own national coteries, save 
from time to time at the Chateau St. Louis. This 
is to be lamented. 

The French families are very sociable ainon**- 
themselves, and together with the French figure 
and general appearance display in their gestures 
and tones the same vivacity and eager interest in 
trifles we see in them at Paris. They are attentive 
to their religious duties, and keep up many old ob- 
servances which elsewhere are dying away. The 
Continental custom of visiting all acquaintances 
on New- Year's day, so useful and laudable, is 
practised at Quebec with great spirit, and not 
only by the French gentry, but by the English 
of all classes. I believe that many a rising 

VOL. 1. D 




enmity has been dissipated by the kind words 
and small presents which on this day are ex- 
changed, j 

The French children are very interestinsr little 
creatures. When arrived at their teens they have 
an exceedingly pretty dance, called " La Ronde," 
which, from great ignorance of the saltatory art 
perhaps, I neijer saw before. It is accompanied 
by an air and words of its own, both lively and 
musical. j 

The FrencH Canadian has brought from his 
dear France one remarkable custom,— the chari- 
vari, and has improved upon it. It is intended 
to reach delintjuents not amenable to the common 
process of lawUoffenders against propriety and 
the public seijse of honour. Ill-assorted mar- 
riages are its especial objects. I need not say 
that a charivaj-i is an unpleasant incident in an 
honeymoon-itfeelf perhaps none of the sweetest. 
It is a processi^ on a large scale by torchlight 
in the evening. In many cases the Attack is Set 
courteously, with lighted halls and a cold collation 
to the principal actors, when the din and hubbub 
cease, and the ^hing ends. But it is not always 
so ;— not in the charivari I witnessed. 

I fear that these celebrations are sometimes 
unjust. It perhaps was unfairly applied in the 
instance which I am about to sketch. 





Here a stout, high-spirited young adjutant of a 
marching regiment, thought well to marry the 
widow — still handsome and but little past her 
prime — of an ppulent brewer. She was of a good 
French family, and resembled the famous widow of 
Kent in having a most agreeable annual income. 
For aught I know she may have thrown off her 
weeds too soon, or was thought to have made a 
mesalliance. Be these things as they may, there 
was a charivari. 

I was at home, in one of the principal streets, 
when my ears were assailed with loud, dissonant, 
and altogether incomprehensible noises, gradu- 
ally drawing nearer and nearer. A broad red 
light soon began to glare upon the houses and 
fill the street. The throng slowly arrived and 
slowly passed my door. I will try to describe 
some parts of the show. 

First came a strange figure, masked, with a 
cocked hat and sword — he was very like the 
grotesque beadle we see in French churches ; 
then came Strutting a little hump-backed crea- 
ture in brown, red, and yellow, with beak and 
tail, to represent the Gallic cock. Fifteen or 
sixteen people followed in the garb of Indians, 
some wearing cows'-horns on their heads. Then 
came two men in white sheets, bearing a paper 
eofiin of great size, lighted from within, and 


n , 



having skulls^ cross-bones, and initials painted in 
black on its sides. This was surrounded by men 
blowing horns, beating pot-lids, poker and ton<.s, 
whirling watchmen's rattles, whistling, and so on. 
lo these succeeded a number of Chinese lanterns 
borne aloft on high poles and mixed with blazin- 
torches-small flags, black and white-more 
rough music. Close after came more torches 
clatter, and fantastic di%uises-the whole sur- 
rounded and accompanied by a large rabble rout, 
who kept up an irregular fire of yells, which now 
and then massed and swelled into a body of sound 
audible over all the neighbourhood. 

The whole City was perambulated before pro- 
ceeding to the fated mansion of the widow-bride • 
but at last they arrived at her door and drew up 
before it The large, handsome house, was silent 
and dark-thfe window-shutters were closed- 
there was evidently to be no friendly feast-per' 
haps some music, but no harmony. 

The charivari was puzzled, but shewed pluck. 
It brayed, and blew, and roared, and shook torch 
and lantern, and might have done so all the 
bitter night through, as it appeared to me, stand- 
ing at a cowardly distance, when on a sudden 
the large front door opened, and out rushed the 
manly figure of the adjutant, with ten or twelve 
assistants in plain clothes, (brother. officers I 



fear), and armed with cudgels. To work they 
went upon the defenceless crowd, and especially 
among the masquers, where the torches gave 
useful light. The whole attack and flight was 
an affair of a hw moments — the fun-loving crowd, 
actors and spectators, fled amain — and gone in 
an incredibly short space of time were torches, 
lanterns, coffin, kettles, buflaloes' heads, &c. 

One unhappy little hunch-back, in the disguise 
of a Gallic cock, the bridegroom seized and began 
to belabour, but he most piteously confessed him- 
self to be the well-known editor of a local paper, 
and was dismissed with a shake, and told that 
in future cripples crowing in charivaris would 
always be treated as able-bodied men. I cannot 
but think, with the insulted lady, that the mum- 
mers were well served. 

The philanthropic institutions, supported by pri- 
vate or public funds, are very numerous. Among 
the principal may be mentioned several hospitals, 
a lunatic asylum, dispensary, emigrants' friend 
society, savings' bank. The same Bible and 
Missionary associations which are to be found 
throughout the British dominions also flourish 
here, and are the fairest ornaments of our times 
and nation. 

There is an exceedingly good library, for the 
use principally of the military ; another as good 





belonging to the House of Assembly ; and several 
pnvate collections of great value' BooksdW 
^ops :n my ^ay were few and poorly provided 
Monsieur Rojsseau, a dealer in French books," 
shewed me many copies of a " History of Ca 

vols, octavo, written with 

talent and research by tl.e Hon. R. Smith, late 
Clnef Justice of Canada, the author of a " His- 
tory of the la e Province of Now York." ThL 
nt circulat,on, on account of some strictures 

general. (It has been published since.) The 

H.oryofCar.ada" I do not intermeddle with 

bu I know of no war-story so interesting, sJ 
full of vicissitudes, gallantry,, and heroism in 
suffering althopgh it extends over but a brief 
space of time. This has arisen out of the remark- 
able qualities of jthe three races, the Englisrhe 
French, and the Indian, who have conte^nde fo 

from chmate, from woods and waters. I cite 
the spirited history of the " Conquest of Canada '' 
by J^ap^m Wa^urto. ^ 

There are fe.y \aies in any quarter of the .lobe 
«o rich as Quebec in attractive spots for summed 
-cursions ; its whole environs a're ^ Cyl 



there is nothing plain or ordinary about them ; 
and each has its own new charm — from the sweet 
dingle of Sillery to the Natural Steps and Cascade 
of Montmorency. 

They have been so often described that I shall 
pass rapidly over them. The principal are Lakes 
St. Charles and Beauport, and the Falls of the 
Chaudiere, Etchemin, and Montmorency, the 
woods and cliffs of Carouge, and the Bridge of 
Jacques Cartier, Lorette and Point Levi. {Vide 

It will take a whole summer's day to visit the 
Indian Village and Lake St. Charles. They lie 
on the same road. In the first we see, in his 
neglected dwelling and ill-cultivated field, how 
unequal at present the Indian is to continuous 
labour. In his own face, at once a history and a 
prophecy, we read much that is Pagan, notwith- 
standing the large silver cross slung across his 
wife's back, and the Roman Catholic church on the 
village green. At the same time I am persuaded 
that the ministers of that church are largely the 
poor Indian's benefactors. 

But descend into yonder chasm — deep, dark, 
and fringed with elegant foliage. It contains the 
River St. Charles. The painter will rejoice in its 
torn, uplifted rocks, and fierce billows, while the 
geologist will be rewarded by some rare fossils. 





Lake Charles is a small but picturesque body 
of water, divided into two unequal parts by a 
long headland; it is twelve miles from Quebec, 
among the nearer mountains, and is well worth a 
visit. i 

The Bridge (f Jacques Cartier, thirty-three 
miles from Qugbec, is well sketched both by 
Dr. Beattie and Mr. Tolfrey. The Jacques Car- 
tier is an impetuous and rocky stream in a pine 
forest, abundant Sn fine fish. 

Few visitors |ill fail to spend a day at the 
Falls of Montmojrency, nine miles from Quebec ; 
it is the first cascade with which the traveller from 
Europe by the Stj Lawrence makes acquaintance. 
It has been descHbed and sketched times innu- 
merable, and is well worthy of its reputation. 
Its dress and appearance are very novel in winter j 
the surrounding pines loaded with masses of snow' 
and the rocks hqng with rows of large icicles '; 
but the cove below is the most remarkable winter 
feature. '« Whe)i the St. Lawrence is frozen 
below the falls the level ice becomes a support, 
on which the freezing spray descends as a sleet ; 
It there remains, and gradually enlarges its base 
and its height, assuming an irregular conical 
form : its dimensions, thus continually increasing, 
become, towards the close of winter, stupendous! 
Its height varies each season ; it has not beeo 



observed higher than one hundred and twenty-six 
feet (1829) : the whole of the preceding season 
had been unusually humid. The face of the cone 
next the falls presents a stalactitic structure not 
seen elsewhere; sometimes it is tinged with a 
slight earthy hue." — (Mr. Green, Quebec His- 
torical Society Transactions, vol. ii. 218.) 

The so-called " Natural Steps" are rather more 
than half a-mile above the Falls of Montmorenci. 
I do not think Dr. Beattie has succeeded in his 
delineation so well as usual — the wildness is well 
given, but not so the artificial look of the rock. 
Their ascent, in many parts, from the water is by 
regular ledges, or steps of horizontal rock. It is 
a singular spot. The river has been wandering 
over gently undulating meadows for a few miles, 
when on a sudden it enters and rushes through 
a trough, twenty to thirty feet broad and eight 
hundred to one thousand yards long, cut through 
a barrier of rock, and thus makes its way to the- 
St. Lawrence. 

The Fall of La Puce is also very graceful, 
and should be seen, — it is seven miles beyond the 
Fall of Montmorenci. I should be ungrateful 
did I not add, that there is a clean and comfort- 
able inn near the latter fall, where the guest 
vill meet also with that cheerful civility and the 




moderate charges we so often experience at the 
inns of French Canada. 

The falls of tihe rivers Etchemin and Chaudi^re, 
respectively, about seven and nine miles from 
Quebec, must not be forgotten. They, too, with 
a little diligence, may be seen on the same day, 
being southern affluents of the St. Lawrence: 

Both are very eflPective combinations of pine- 
woods, falling waters, and rocky heights ; that 
of the Chaudi^re especially, which has no need to 
retire in shamefacedness before any of the cata- 
racts of Canada— a very few excepted. 

They have been so often described, that I shall 
pass on to relate a few circumstances which oc- 
curred at one of my visits to these rivers, as iUus- 
trative of a Canadian holiday. 

I had two officers for my companions, equipped 
m the stiff, hot military dress, cocked hat and 
feathers, enjoined in almost every climate by 
general orders. Our nags were brought out into 
a parade-ground full of soldiery. Being of vary- 
ing qualities, external and internal, we cast lots 
for choice. A very sorry beast fell to my share • 
but I mounted, and was suffered there to remain! 
My friend of the Royal Engineers, while in the 
act of alighting in the saddle, was pitched by a 
sudden elevation from behind some feet over, and 




before the horse's nose, on the soft sand — hat and 
whip also. -Some brother-ofhcers came up, and 
gave them to him with a sort of quizzical so- 
lemnity. I 

Off we set at length, rode through the town 
with great decorum, and crossed the river by 
the horseferry to Point Levi. Scarcely, however, 
had we set foot on the south shore of the St. Law- 
rence, when the horse of my second companion 
rushed up the steep road close by at a gallop. We 
followed pretty fast ; but, on gaining the summit, 
we saw our commissariat friend, an old Spanish 
campaigner, far away on the road, flying at full 
speed. Every now and then we caught a glimpse 
of him, pushing on in the same involuntary haste. 
He rode well ; so that we were only amused, not 
alarmed, and quietly jogged after him. We came 
upon him suddenly, after a ride of four miles, 
sitting upon a low fence, in front of a decent house, 
with a stable in the rear. His features were dis- 
composed, and not very clean. Hfe looked shaken, 
too, and one side of his dress was plastered with 
the mud of an adjacent ditch. In fact, he told 
us that the horse, in spite of all he could do, coa- 
tinued at high-pressure speed until he came to 
this place, where dwelt an old master of his, and 
where, turning suddenly and unexpectedly to the 
left, he landed our friend in the ditch, and him- 

j ! . 



self at the stable-door — and npt for the first time, 

as his former ovj^ner told us. Being an indifferent 
horseman, I wds glad my animal was of a mild 
disposition. We were pleased with both the 
Etchemin and the Chaudiere^ and towards even- 
ing we all, three abreast, slowly returned to 
Quebec and our duties.* 

The scenery tilong the road is worth all the 
journey. It parses by a line of farms on the high 
grounds skirting the St. Lawrence. The dwell- 
ings of the peasantry, in some parts, formed quite 
a street ; in others, we rode through fields and 
copses. At the mouth of the Etchemin, where 
the road descends to the tide-level, we found my- 
riads of logs from the Ottawa, stranded at low 
water ; and many rafts lying out in the St. Law- 
rence, waiting tol be received into harbour at New 
Liverpool, as soi|ie houses and a timber establish- 
ment here are called. 

We all agreed that the most solemn and capti- 
vating view of Quebec anywhere to be met with 
is obtained from the high grounds we were then 
riding over-, near the Etchemin River. The spec- 
tator here stands on a lofty cliff", and is master of 
a large horizon ; in the centre of which, with 

* Gold in dust and |;rains has been found on the River Fataine, 
a tributary to the Chaudiere. Sir James Alexander, in his pleasant 
" L'Acadie," gays he has seen some. 



many a domestic bower unseen, in those thick 
woods on the west, stands the great escarped rock 
on which is enthroned the first-class fortress of 
Cape Diamond, its vast buttresses, bastions, and 
batteries encircling, in prolonged curves, the 
nearly hidden city, with its steeples and spires ; 
overhanging, too, the restless St. Lawrence, and 
the battle-plain of Abraham, while from this point 
of vantage we take in fully the glorious framework 
of grey mountains and dark green woods in which 

it is set. I 

The evening had toned down all discordant 
tints. None of the disenchanting details of or- 
dinary life met the eye. We irresistibly felt our- 
selves in the presence of the Ehrenbreitstein of 
the West, or rather of a great war palace of Odin, 
guarding the Scandinavia of America. 

It is to be regretted that Mr. Bartlett did not 
transmit this view to Europe. His other views 
of this neighbourhood are admirably selected. 

M ' 




on Bo„d-Mo^:7,xi:rSsr tr?-"'^ ^^-^'^"'^ 

Fortune-Loca, PoKtics-SaTi«r Se^"- ' "' 'f ' 

I "^ 

' ^ y ^ I^ the month <]f Augnst, after a hot summer, 

typhus fever appeared, both extensively and fa- 
tally ma portioii of the township of Hawksbury 
on the River Ottawa, 260 miles from Quebec, and 
recently settled by a large party of Irish. As it 
contmued with undiminished severity throughout 
Sep ember, Govef-nment determined to send a 
inditary medical officer to take charge of the sick, 
and to report on tl.e causes and nature of the 



I was selected for this errand of mercy, and 
now present to the reader a non-professional 
sketch of the excursion. 

Although I did not embark at Quebec, it will 
be well to premise that the River St. Lawrence, 
for thirty or forty miles above that city, is emi- 
nently picturesque, being for the most part 
bounded on both sides by woody steeps, or dusky 
red cliffs, of which the most prominent are Ca- 
rouge. Point des Trembles, and Cape Sante. It 
is then ascended for 140 miles through a level 
eountry, with little change of feature, save at Lake 
St. Peter. * ! 

Above Cape Sante the visible population be- 
gins to thicken ; and from this point, the north 
shore especially, seldom exceeding ten or twenty 
feet in height, is embellished with a pleasing line 
of white houses and churches, extending, with few 
interruptions, for 800 miles westward. The high- 
road runs close to the river. The traveller, on 
horseback or in a calash, is within view of us for 
miles, not seldom beset by a train of clamorous 

The strong rapids of the Richelieu occur forty- 
five miles above Quebec, and are caused by a 
contraction of the river's breadth to half a mile, 
and its obstruction by reefs and rolled blocks. 
Having a couple of days to spare, on account 




Of certain official credentials not yet ready and 

yM? tT r r"'"°^ ''-' I -de?;::' 

^} calash to ^he Seigniory of St. Anne de la 

„«i „ ^ ^"^ isatiscan, a northpm 

affluent of thoi «;* t . "ortnern 

fo,. .-f K Lawrence, and once famous 

for Its bog ore and ironfoundry 

an uncomfortable one Kin^' ''"° 

*u ^ • kindness goes far nitu 

iSn/'^f^-^-delapLd^lTe ;t 

wn totls??^^'-"'^ '"^^^^-' -^^«h - 
oown to the St. Lawrence. From the house we 

and had between them a momentary glimpse of 
the passing steamers. ^ ^ * 

• '^^^ ^''»"''^'- h^'i -t this time 300 acres in his 

person' lUZZi^ T"^ ''"•^^" "^ '^ --n^ 
^ glad of thw opportunity of acknowledging it. 



own hands, partly for profit, and partly as a 
model farm for his tenants. The remainder of 
" the cleared portion was held under peculiar 
French tenures, and divided into about 500 hold- 
ings. But still the greater part of the seigniory 
was in a state of nature, and was altogether about 
70,000 acres. I 

For the most part, the tenants had clustered 
round the church in the form of a very rural- 
looking village, with a comfortable little inn. 
As the proprietor spoke French excellently, was 
affable and obliging, and was extending and im- 
proving the roads in the back settlements, a walk 
through the village with him was a very agree- 
able thing. It was a promenad.e of unconstrained 
greetings and pleasant looks. Red worsted caps 
and uncouth hats were doffed at every turn. 

The revenues of a Canadian seigniory are de- 
rived from several sources. There is a rent of a 
dollar a-year from every tenement having a fire- 
place ; a considerable fine upon every transfer 
of the numerous small tenancies, or rather pro- 
perties ; and the profits of the seigniorial flour- 
mill— the law compelling all the habitans to 
grind their corn there. There are other dues of ' 
less importance. A satisfactory interest is derived 
from the usual amount of purchase-money laid 
out upon an estate of this kind. 

VOL. I. B 




^e embarked at St. Anne's for Batiscan in a 
canoe, and, after a pleasant rovr of six miles 
mounted the .^eck of one of the great steamerl 
going to Montreal, which makes Batiscan a stop- 
ping-place. ^ 

Glancing at jhe scene in the steamer, we were 
a good deal dismayed. The whole of the fore 
deck was crowded by horses, cows, pigs, car- 
riages, and fur^ture, as well as by dirty and des- 
titute Irish emigrants, one of whom was %htin<. 
drunk. Having been, and continuing to be ex! 
tremely trouble^me, he was forcibly set on .hore 
Ignorant both c^f the people and the language' 
As we paddled off, I saw him, shillelah in hand' 
-for It had been thrown to him, -vapouring 
away alone on the beach, by the side of his little 
bundle. j 

We counted thirty- two cabin passengers of 
various qualities!; some of them were of great 
eminence, and Would have become so in any 
country. A chance gathering like this is quite 
different from the company on board of an Euro- 
pean pleasure-steamer. There were no coronetted • 
families and theii* liveried domestics-not a single 
English snob, or bearded French Jiuneur, in his 
^vhite-jane boots.j Most of the passengers were 
on business. 

. We did not make acquaintances at first. The 


heat was extreme ; so that most of us remained 
on deck to catch the slender but refreshing breeze. 
For myself, I went below to finish a letter. 

Sitting down, I espy the eyes of a little fat 
steward lazily twinkling on me from a square 
compartment full of spirit-bottles, called the bar. 
Close to me on my right sits, reading with a con- 
sequential air, a young American, dressed in the 
Burgershaft style— his broad shirt-collar descend- 
ing over his coat-collar, and tied by a black 
riband ; while his luxuriant hair falls over his 
shoulders in long tresses. Before me are par- 
ties playing at picquet, and refreshing them- 
selves with London porter. Several are dozing 
as comfortably as Prince Aldebaronti himself. 

After a time I mount the companion-ladder, and 
find that we are in the middle of the majestic St. 
Lawrence, making good way, with the two hand- 
some spires of Varennes Church some distance 
a-head of us, among trees; over which, in the 
south-west, I see the storm approaching, of which 
the sultry heats had given us notice. There is not 
much to attract the eye beyond a few moments. 
We see, however, that we are on an American 
river of the first order, fed by innumerable streams, 
whose sources are often a thousand miles and 
more apart. 

We meet a tall steamer coming from Montreal, 




or a fleet of raftd, the same in form, but larger 
than those of the Rhine. A wind-bound vessel 
from Europe is overtaken, or a steam-tug labour- 
ing up the current, with a reluctant merchant- 
ship on each sidej and another at its stern. Few 
words suffice to describe either the Orinoco or the 
St. Lawrence for a hundred miles together. 

In an hour we were in the midst of the storm, 
in all the usual forms of lightning, thunder, hail, 
and rain— sweeping the decks of all who could 
crowd below, f(f e arif aft. The cabin was so 
full during its ccintinuance that we began to get 
familiar, and con|verse. 

I soon found bkr my side a young man of coarse, 
heavy look and build, not well clad, and indif- 
ferently schooletj. He was the son of a Scotch 
peer, sent into the woods of Canada under the 
charge of an a^ent, for having married a stout 
dairymaid, to hjs lady -mother's great disgust. 
The'poor lad ceUainly had not his full share of 
brains. The young wife looked far more respect- 
able and intelliient than himself. A farm had 
for them in Glengarry, Upper 
yet the Honourable Mr. C 

been purchased 
Canada. And 

had his cogitations. In the course of the voyage 
a clerical acquaintance of mine observed to me, 

directing my a tention to Mr. C : " That 

fat; dense Scotchman has been puzzling himself. 



Presbyterian-like, upon an odd subject. Perhaps 
he thinks he is Adam going to Eden. Noticing 
my ecclesiastical dress, he entered just now into 
talk with me ; and among other things, he put 
this question to me : ' Sir,' said he, ' after Eve 
had eaten the apple, she offered another to Adam. 
Now, I wish to know what would have become 
of Eve if Adam had refused to eat ; and what 
would have been the upshot of the whole matter ?' 
I told him his question was unprofitable, and not 
worth an answer." 

When the grey darkness of the storm had 
passed away, leaving a clear sky and cool air, 
much of the cabin company dispersed. Then 
there came out of a small state-room a foreign 
lady, of elegant and commanding presence. She 
.was accompanied by. her younger brother, a Ge- 
nevese, like herself. He was an officer of one of 
our Rifle corps, slight in figure, precise in his 
dress, with a coat by Stultz, close-fitting panta- 
loons, strapped to the foreign-made boot. His 
features were small and gentlemanly, but mo- 
tionless and resigned, as I have often seen m 
those who live with clever women. 

But I do not wish to forget the lady, Madame 

je M . She took an arm-chair near the 

<ioorway of the magnificent caoin, with the officer 
by her side. A circle soon formed round her; 



for she was w0ll known, and was returning to 
Montreal from a visit to her native land. 

When I first saw her, I thought of Madame 
de Stael and the charms of Coppet, and stuck 
myself in a corner near her, on an uneasy camp- 
stool. I had time to examine her while waiting 
to hear what a lady so gifted and gallant might 

I had before nie a tall lady, of graceful carriage, 
a trifle too stout], and not now to be called young, 
— no fault of hefs. Her fine features had become 
somewhat too marked, but were instinct with that 
superior intelligience which successful culture of 
a rich soil alone can give. Let me remember. 
She had an ov^l pale face, darkened a little by 
the stoves of hfer youth ; a high nose, exactly 
ehiselled; smooth, round, full forehead, and a 
kindling dark eye. 

After the usual congratulations and mutual in- 
quiries, there was silence for a few moments, 
when she broke out in the true rhythmical tones 
of a high-class Genevese reunion, with a full, 
ringing, musical voice, and all the gentle fear- 
lessness of practice in good society — enforcing 
her words with such pretty cadences, and such 
an eloquent, but scarcely perceptible, play of fea- 
ture, eye, and neck, as I never expected to see in 
western Christendom. 




She did not speak of regret at leaving Switzer- 
land, — the social circles of Geneva (hard to re- 
linquish), for the inferior civilisation of a colony ; 
but she said : ' 

" I have been in Canada again for a week, 
and am anew delighted with my adopted coun- 
try. I have infinitely enjoyed its natural gran- 
deurs—its splendid suns, wide waters— amid 
the fragrance of its fine forests I have wandered 
already. I find an exceeding beauty here— not 
Swiss, not French, nor Scottish, but Canadian, 
perfectly distinct, and unspeakably charming." 

" Yes," says my friend Col. H — — , " you may 
well be happy here ; because, as soon as the 
steamer draws alongside the quay of Montreal, 
you will see leaning over the long balcony of a 
many -windowed mansion overhanging the St. 
Lawrence, a delighted, expecting group of bright 
young faces, waving their little kerchiefs, with 
their bonnes and their aunts, while the father is 
on the pier awaiting you." 

" Yes," she replied, " a large measure of good 
has been bestowed on me. May I be sufficiently 
thankful ! 

" I have been rambling over my old Swiss moun- 
tains. 1 had not quite my usual interest in 
them. I was surprised to see how rapturously 





those alpine pictures were enjoyed by my com- 
panion, old Professor Pictet, for the hundredth 
time. And I dq feel that there is no compari- 
son between th^ scientific apprehension of the 
works of creation and that which is within the 
reach of the common observer like myself. In 
the same way, I can conceive somewhat of the 
prophetic triumph with which the enlightened 
statesman can look upon the broad and fertile 
lands among whij;h we are now moving, and re- 
joice in their splendid and populous, and I trust, 
happy future." 

Madame de M had been playing, Stael- 

like, with a littl^ well-worn magazine, such as 
are seen everywhere in America, and said,— 

" By the bye, I have met in my cabin with a 
little monthly miscellany, which contains some 
beautiful ideas. How greatly indebted, under 
Providence, is the new world to the old ! Not 
only has Europe formed and arranged her daily 
comforts, filled her libraries with undying wis- 
dom, paid in blood and anguish the price of her 
present political blessings — having driven the 
ploughshare of truth through the clods of des- 
potic ignorance— but she goes on to fill the Ame- 
rican mind with just and lofty thoughts. 

" These little magazines exist chiefly upon the 




genius of England. Permit me to read the pass- 
age which has given rise to these remarks. It is 
from Coleridge : — 

" ' In the middle ages, there was in Europe a 
continued succession of individual intellects — the 
golden chain was never wholly broken. A dark 
cloud, like another sky, covered the entire cope 
of heaven ; but in this place it thinned away, and 
white stains of light shewed a half-eclipsed star 
behind it : in that place it was rent asunder, and 
a star passed across the opening in all its bright- 
ness, and then vanished. Such stars exhibited 
themselves only; surrounding objects did not 
partake of their light. There were deep wells of 
knowledge, but no fertilising rills.' 

" Is not this an astronomical metaphor of ex- 
treme magnificence ? How else bring into the 
light of day the vast darkness of the middle ages? 
From this, modern North America has been spared. 
In its dispersion, my own townsmen of Geneva 
have performed a noble part, both now, and at 
the time when Erasmus read by moonlight, be- 
cause he could not afford a torch, and begged a 
penny, not for the love of charity, but for the love 
of learning." 

And thus she went on, with many a friendly 
questioning from her circle of admirers, giving 
utterance to her full heart as freely and melo- 





diously as ever :x,usician scattered sweet sounds 
from flute or haj-p. ^ounus 

She was about to tell us of the delight with 
wh.h she had w^-tnessed in London the operations 
of an ,nfant-schpol. then unknown in Canada,* 
and not niany y^ars ago commenced by Wilder- 

saad never to have attained to actual manhood 
but was arrested lin a state of perpetual babyh^d' 
- an aged and wf se baby ; and the very individual 
for his important mission. 

She fas about to say that she must have an 
infant-sdhool near her place, when a youni;,; 
s.cian came and|told me that a pL ftmafe 
ern^grant had b«en frightened into' premaTu 
1 hour y the 4m, and had given birth to a 

g.l but that she had nothing p.epared. and no 
^one>. We immediately collected, among the 

cabm passengers nearly four pounds, to the no 
small surprise and gratitude of the sufferer when 
It was given her in a little bag. 

The eloquent G^enevese contributed liberally 
and greatly encouraged the subscription. '' 

withTh^'r'^' r "•^' P^'-^''"^ - ^ colony, 
with their love o\ order and cleanliness, theS 
finished education and enlarged views ' 
After leaving the steamboat I never, heard 

* There are now sereral in Montreal. 




more of this accomplished lady. I suppose she 
is the light of her quiet home, not far from Mount 
Beloeil, and a winter resident at Montreal. 

We passed Three Rivers, the third or fourth 
town in the lower province during the storm. 
Here the influence of the tides of the ocean ceases. 
I shall say little about this place, as I was only 
five minutes in it once ; but it is little better than 
a large village. It is near the three mouths of 
the St. Maurice, an important river, with the 
iron works of the Messrs. Bell on it, and 
abounding in fine scenery and good land. A 
very large tract of fertile country ranges from 
the middle and upper parts of the St. Maurice 
north-eastwards towards Quebec, and embraces 
the valleys of the St. Maurice, Batiscan, St. Anne, 
and Jacques Cartier, more than sixty miles across. 
But who will face its Siberian climate ? 

From this time to our arrival at Montreal, 
most of the passengers were on deck enjoying the 
tempered breezes, and that homogeneity of at- 
mosphere which brings distant objects so wonder- 
fully near, and gives to the whole landscape a 
delicious purity, softness, and precision of outline. 

I was leaning over the bulwark of the steamer, 
examining a fragment of rock, with an oblong 
note-book peeping out of a side-pocket, when M. 
Papineau, the Speaker (at the time) of the House 



Of Assembly, ca,ne blandly up and entered into 

conversation with me. 

He was then the most distinguished and po- 
pular person in Canada; and he has since be- 
come stdl more noted for his share in the late 

M. Papineau was a well-dressed, handsome 
man, standing erflct, and a little above the middle 
size, with the black hair and eyes of France,his fea- 
tures regular, ratl,er long, fine, but not ingenuous. 
He appeared to n^e subtle, persuasive, confident, 
and eager for mfoiimation. He questioned me on 
he subject of my ,ock specimen, and ongeolo«-y 
I told him I was only a learner. " True • that 
trbH:;:.""^^^'!'^"*"-^^.". is king among 

In a short time | had given him the titles and 

-entsofall the hist books on the subject, and 
the way to procure from London labelled cabi- 
ne^of inmeralogical and rock specimens. 

tn ^l T" ^'^^ ^"^ ^'y- ' ^^^ "othing more 
to tell. I wished t. talk political economy with 
him and perhaps , little politics; but no. there 

^as to be nothing given in exchange. I was left 

courteously, but before I had received my reward 

which was unpleasant. 
Some are surprised that M. Papineau did not 

t^oht m the msurredtion, but without reason. I 



am sure that he values life and limb at no hio-her 
rate than other people; but it is not fair to ex- 
pect the same man to be the slashing hussar and 
the astute parliamentary tactician.* 

He has taken advantage of the amnesty so 
wisely proclaimed by the British Government, 
and is again a leader in the House of Assembly. 

The rebellion which M. Papineau at all events 
stimulated, was sanctioned in heart by the great 
majority of the Lower Canadians; but it was 
mainly defeated by the Roman Catholic clergy, 
who are salaried by the British Government, and 
have little faith in the mercies of the cabinet of 
Washington. If it had been successful, M. Papi- 
neau would probably have been the first president 
of a new people, and an historical character. 

As far as Lake St. Peter, a few miles above 
Three Rivers, we were passing up broad waters, 
with distant shores, and here and there a tribu- 
tary stream, the banks of the St. Lawrence occa- 
sionally running out into points, marked by a 
church, a windmill, or a line of tall poplars. Once 
or twice, soon after the storm, all these objects. 

* Since writing the above I have had reason to believe that M. 
Papineau was not for trying it out in anns, and took no share in the 
late insurrection. As loiig as he confined himself to constitutional 
measures, M. Papineau was a freeman contending against des- 
potism. Nearly all that was sought has since been conceded. 



While distant, ^veve raised picturesquely hi^h 
above the river by a thin haze, and later^ in the 
evening steeped in the ruby glow of the settin-. 
sun. ° 

We found Lake St. Peter to be a shallow ex- 
pansion of the ^t. Lawrence, nine or ten miles 
broad and twenty-five miles long, with many 
islands at its upper end, used as pasturage by the 
farmers on the densely-peopled mainland. 

Being a zealo^s geologist, I longed to jump 
ashore on one ojf these islands to examine their 
stony beaches, wfiich we were, successively ^raz- 
ing,-a propensiljy which had nigh cost me dear at 
Sorel, a village-town on the south shore, forty-five 
miles below Montreal, at the mouth of the large 
river Richelieu, the outlet of Lake Champlain, 
and remarkable for being much smaller at its 
mouth than at its head. 

The steamboat having stopped here to take in 
wood, I stepped on shore (contrary to rule) to 
gather a specimen of a rock I saw in the river 
bank. While thug employed the steamer started 
Seeing this, I jumped into a canoe with a little 
boy m It, and padcjled after, urging and screaming 
to the top of my powers, when the owner and 
captain, worthy Mr. Molson, kindly backed ship 
and took me in. 

When I had cooled after my exertions suffi- 



ciently to cast a glance around, I observed a 
group deeply interested in the explanations of 
an athletic American in the garb of a master- 
mechanic. He was exhibiting the model of 
a bridge invented by himself, of wood, cheap, 
strong, and durable. It was formed by a simple 
but very ingenious interlacement of bars of wood, 
the longitudinal being about eight feet long, and 
the cross-bars about five. Besides having the qua- 
lities just stated, it had the important one of an 
equally diffused strain under burthens. It was 
particularly adapted to rapid rivers and such as 
are liable to floods. He had built one in Canada 
and several in the United States. The bars hav- 
ing been put together, one end of the framework 
thus formed was fixed to the side of a river, then 
directed across, and the other end pressed down 
to the opposite bank by heavy weights, and there 
retained. While standing upon the raised end of 
a bridge which he was placing in the United 
States, the weight slipped off, and he was hurled 
to an immense distance and taken up dead, while 
the bridge floated away in fragments. 

From hence to Montreal is a continuation of 
the same scenery as below St. Peter's — a wide 
stream with occasional islets, low cleared shores 
with an endless street of houses, their very roofs 
whitewashed. Here and there is the mouth of a 





I am correct 
coming from t 

in naming the RecoUet, a river 

"« Ottawa, and with another branch 
formmg the n^r.hern boundaries of the islands of 
Jesus and Montreal. Few pass by the mouth of 
this stream as t flows into the St. Lawrence with- 
ou adm,nng is antique church, two or three old- 
fashmned|.roofed houses, the cleanly little 
inn, and its ehii-trees. 

To reach Montreal, the steamer has to breast 

for the last „ilu.e powerful Rapid of St. Mary 
such as on V a ctr<,„„ ...:„j .. ^' 

such as only a 
vessel to surmo 

strong wind can enable a sailing 
D^nt. It is occasioned by shallow^ 
and thesmallilandofSt. Helen's, a locality of 
n^uch mduary i|nporta„ce, and occupied bv forti- 

In due season the steamer discharged her 
vaned burthen, and. we separated, each on his 
own busmess. 

It was my duty to pass through Montreal as ' 

rapidly as possible, but as I had to receive from 
the military depot some additional medicines I 
went thither, lea, ing „,y portmanteau within the 
doorway of Pomeroy's Hotel. I had scarcely left 
the house, when ., stage-coach for Albany in the 

ouoYe salt Water. Seals are not verv unrn,r,„,^„ *i,„-. 

i> are not very uncommon tliere. 



State of New York, 300 miles off, drove up to the 
door. Seeing my portmanteau close by, directed 
"Albany Barracks," an old English direction 
unerased, the driver placed it upon the coach and 
drove off, leaving me with such clothes as I stood 
in, and nearly moneyless, in a strange place. I 
received inypropertyagain some weeks afterwards; 
meanwhile I borrowed a very scanty outfit from a 
brother-officer.* | 

One of the calashes of the country soon trans- 
ported me to La Chine, a village nine miles from 
Montreal, at the foot of Lake St. Louis; a splendid 
body of still wafer, with fine islands here and 
there, and elevated lands in the north. It is, of 
course, a part of the St. Lawrence. 

I then embarked in a largo heavy boat manned 
by three Canadians, and successively passed vil- 
lage after village to the pretty ruins of the French 
fort, Chateau-brillant, in the midst of charming- 
lake and hill scenery. j 

We had left Lake St. Louis behind us. In 
our front was the broad and tumultuous meetina' 

* Tliis gentleman I had seen labouring under severe si)itting of 
blood in tlie Isle of Wight. For this lie was ordered to the Vt'est 
Indies ; but in the confusion of a dark night and of a crowd of 
transports he got on board of a ship for Canada by mistake, and 
thus, I am convinced, saved his life. His is not the only case 
of lisemoptysis in which I have known the dry Canadian climate 

VOL. I. 






Of the two gxa^t streams, the St. Lawrence and 
Z .^"^7— r^- o{ equal magnitude, but not 
n^ixzng for mahy miles downwards, as we see 
from the chocolate colour of the latter. In our 
rear were the fiU wooded heights of '. The Two 
Mountams," wi.h a pi,g.i„, ...,,^ ^, „,,,. 

We now sped up the succeeding tranquil per- 
^on of the Ottawa, and arrived late at Point 
Fortune. We Jnly landed once, a couple of 
mdes below the Point, to rest, and look at a 
pary of two huhdred Irish emigrants, staying 
for the mght m a wood, under a few loose boards 
and bushes, pushed carelessly together 

They consisted of the very aged, those ia 
n^iddle hfe, and the babe at the breast. Their 
taces wore an anxious but resigned look. The 
country was strange to them. Good-natured 
fnends had paintkd freely the privations of the 
coming ,,i„ter in their allotment, seventy-eight 
miles above Poinl Fortune. Some oatmeal and 
potatoes, will, a limited stock of clothes (like 
my own) was al they possessed. I did not, but encouraged them, as I sat by the 
women washing their clouts in the stream I 
remembered that k little man's all is great in 
the sight of God. great in 

• All given with gre^ truth and spirit by Mr. Bartlett. 



Although extremely poor, and, to their honour, 
laden with their grandsires, I afterwards heard 
that they prospered, ^nd are now comfortable. 

Point Fortune is a cluster of houses, inns, and 
stores, on the west bank of the Ottawa, at the 
foot of the Long Sault Rapid, which is nine miles 
long, very violent, full of narrow j)asses, rocky 
bars, and tall fir-clad islets, delightful to the 
painter. Their whole descent is fifty-six feet — 
commencing at Hamilton Mills, the place of my 
destination. j 

I found an uneasy bed and a suffocating room 
at the principal tavern — boarded off from a chib- 
room, full of tobacco-smoke, whisky-fumes, and 
a crowd of the chief inhabitants of the- west 
bank of the river. They had met to assess them- 
selves for the formation of a road along the river 
side, in opposition to one on the east bank. I 
heard and suffered all during tiie tedious oro-ies 
of a hot night. It was "a fine exhibition of 
drunken shrewdness. Personal dislikes and ill- 
will gave way after a few skirmishes. They 
resolved that, without the road, their lands would 
be worthless — that trade and transport would fix 
on the opposite bank — and that they would be 
ruined. | 

The matter was plentifully spoken, and I be- 
lieve it was afterwards well do7ie ; for they soon 










had a road — a 
as the next 
woods, in a cai-jt 
ledges a yard h 
up to the horse's 
net-work of tree- 
Hamilton Ml 
sawing up the 
down from the 
the adjacent rap 
I was afterwards 
logs I saw floatin 
manner in whicli 
the saw — and th 

The immediate 
but in a state o 
the buildini; con 
large oblong w 
rounded by offices 
and stables. A 
was, with little p 
but the eye saw 
stumps of trees, 
alder on a rutrired 
stones, and sand 

virgin forest. 

road ; and not such an one 

I passed over, mostly through 

— first descending at a leap 

gh, then wading in a slough 

belly, and often foot-fast in a 

ifoots-far below. 

is a large establishment for 

er which the lumberer rafts 

igher parts of the Ottawa; — 

furnishing the motive power. 

astonished at the quantity of 

in a back water — at the easy 

^ach was presented and held to 

number and vast force of tlie 


vicinity of tlie mills was all 

nature. The mill, that is, 

iniug the saws, was merely a 

en shed: — the proprietor's 

comfortable) was sur- 

forges, workmen's dwellings, 

itchen-garden there certainly 

atbhes of wheat here and there ; 

little else than the charred 

3lumps of young beech • and 

surface, covered with, rocks, 

and hemmed in by the 

Arciund the mills for half a mile 



the accumulation of foreign loose rocks is so 
enormous and so various that almost every 
known rock formation has its representative. 
Many of the blocks of granite are from twenty to 
thirty feet long. They have been left here by an 
ancient still-water at the point of obstruction, 
created by a sudden narrowing of the river, when 
at a higher level. I 

I felt not a little awkward in presenting myself 
to Mr, and Mrs. Hamilton of the mills, at whose 
house, as the principal person in the settlement, 
it was arranged that I should reside — not only 
from the extreme slenderness of my personal 
effects, but for want of my introductory letter 
and public credentials, then somewhere on the 
banks of the river Hudson. 

I explained my situation in a few words, 
shewed my stock of galenicals, and observed that 
few evil and designing persons would travel as I 
had done, sixty miles into a wilderness to catch 
the typhus fever gratuitously. They had been 
surprised, but were easily satisfied. 

I passed a pleasant and busy month at their 
hospitable dwelling, and hope never to forget 
their united kindness. 

A very few years after this visit, their four 
children requiring education, Mr. and Mrs. 



land, of variable 
I do not know, 
sand-hills ; but in 

size and heitiht 


As very often 
spent itself before 


Hamilton embarLd in a stout boat for Montreal, 
as is done every day. 

ing the Long Sault Rapids, 

winch are close t, the mills, the boat upset, and 

^ every soul perished, boatmen included, except 

the father and ojie child. He lived only a year 

or two after, a broken man. 

The Ilauksbur,' settlement, now called Hawks- 
bmy West, is an cblong block of heavily-timbered 
fortility. Its exact dimensions 
There are many swamps and 
places I noticed many excellent 
crops of wheat growing among the tree-stumps. 
It now contams about two thousand inhabitants 
and on the whole is healthy. ' 

Mr. Hamilton furnished me with a horse, and 
IS so good as to kccompany me to my scattered 
patients on the first day: otherwise most cer- 
tainly I should not have found my way, along 
primitive bye-path,, over crazy bridges, throu-h • 
morasses and woxls, whose pines were of "a 
^ never saw equalled else- 

happens, the fever had nearly 
2 the greatly-needed aid arrived. 
During my stay thk sick became rapidly conva- 
lescent, and no ne^ cases occurred ; but it was 



thought best to detain me a week or two longer 
than absolutely necessary. 

My duties lay among a young colony of Irish 
planted apart in the woods, and were pleasant, 
because the people were truly grateful. I was 
much pleased by the universal cheerfulness 
(except in the houses of the sick), the friendly 
feeliuff, the srreat readiness to assist each other 
which prevailed. Several times did I meet 
hearty, smiling young Irishwomen on horseback, 
laden with dainties for distant sick acquaintances. 

I had a young single man under my care, 
exceedingly reduced, living alone in a one- 
roomed hut. He had a fine crop of wheat on a 
patch of ground close to his house ; but he was 
totally unable to reap it. This his neighbours 
did for him ; doubtless expecting that on some 
emergency he would do the like for them. I 
have the merry scene, only lasting a few hours, 
before my eyes now. Such a working party is 
called a " Bee," and extends to every in-door or 
out-door operation requiring numbers. 

Hawksbury is not in the far-off wilds : there 
are settlements all around; too much severed by 
bad roads, except where the Ottawa offers easy 
transport, and especially to the good market at 
Montreal. These emigrants, therefore, were not 
beyond human help, like the solitary squatting 





straggling street, or 


families. These people had placed their rude 
but warm log-huts 

either in the form of a 
else each on his own land, 
according to temper or circumstances. 

The advantages of jiublic worship and of schools 
were within their reach. The comfort and secu- 
rity which they either had, or saw that with the 
blessing of Providence they should attain, had a 
striking effect on the expression of their coun- 
tenances, which was happy, friendly, open, and 

I was much pleased with an Irishman's place 

who had been three 
with a large family 

or four years on the spot, 
of sons and daughters — he 
himself still in the full force ^f manliood. He 
lived in the social street, his farm of twenty or 
thirty acres cleared, being in the bush. He iiad built 
a log-house, thirty-fivb feet long by twenty, in the 
clear. The ground-f^oor still remairlted a single 
apartment, save thi^t a thick green curtain 
screened the femalej sleeping-place, while the 
young men found their lair in ilw roof by a 
ladder. The -walls wfere lined with bags of flour, 
Indian corn, pumpkins, onions, mutton or pork 
hams, flitches of baco^, and agricultural tools. 

The sick daughtei[ on whom I attended sat 
often in the fresh air before the door, much inter- 
ested in the visit of the Government doctor sent 



from Quebec "to her and her likes." I have 
little fear but that by this time the green baize 
curtain is replaced by a strong partition of boards 

or rather, I feel pretty sure that the house is 

a stable, and the family are occupying a new 
one, with sash windows and green shutters. 
The eood looks of every member of this Irish 
family, their activity, the interest they took in 
their little world, bespoke satisfaction and rough 


Two or three days before my first visit, one of 
the lads, about thirteen yearsof age, was chopping 
fire-wood in the bush, with a much younger boy, 
when a large bear came out of the wood and 
put a fierce foot on the very log he was working 
at. The boy faced the animal with uplifted axe, 
and drove him away. j 

I have very strong convictions on the subject 
of emigration from Great Britain and Ireland, and 
shall here place nearly all I have to say upon 
the subject. ' 

Deriving all I know from personal investigation 
on the spot, I desire to be literally " vox clamantis 
e deserto." 

I declare in all sincerity that one of the most 
distressing thoughts of my whole life has been 
called forth by seeing millions and millions of 
acres of fertile land, in a healthy climate, lying 
waste, while my countrymen, in multitudes at 




There is a field in 

home, are left in profound misery, and under the 
strongest temptations to crime. 

Canada alone open to capital 

and to labour which it will take a busy century 
to occupy, opening new lands and giving addi- 
tional value to thoqe already in use; while the 
systematic developement of the resources of 
British North America, so far from being a drain 
on the mother-country, will be of immediate and 
signal advantage to l^er. 

Not to press forwajrds emigration is to partake 
of the guilt and sin brought on by the crowded 
state and the social inequalities of Great Britain.* 

* The following painfully instructive statement leads us to be- 
lieve that misery has been the lot of the bulk of our fellow-coun- 
trymen from early times, l^e condition of the poor has sensibly 
improved, but not so much at that of the easier classes :— 

" By a survey of Sheffield made Jan. 2, 1615, by twentv-four 
of Its most sufficient inhabitints, it appeareth that there are in 
the town of Sheffield 2207 people, of which there are, 
725 who are not able to live without the charity of their neigh. 

hours. These are all bagging poor. 
100 householders who relieje others. These (though the best 
sort) are but poor arjificers : amongst them there is not 
one who can keep a t^m on his own land, and not above 
ten who have grounds lof their own that will keep a cow. 
ICO householders not able ^o relieve others. These are such 
(though they beg not)las are not able to abide the storm 
of fourteen days' sickiess, but would be drawn thereby to 

1222 children and servante ,^f the said householders, the greater 
part of which are such as live of small wages, and are con- 
— — strained to work sore to provide themselves necessaries." 
'^ Hunter's Hallamthire, p. 118. 



But it must ever be remembered that emigra- 
tion is only one of many remedies. The mere 
removal of surplus population does but little, 
happy as the change may be for the individuals. 
The gap is filled up almost immediately. 

The British people must do theii' own work, 
stirringly and earnestly. | 

I have little hope in any ministry in the pre- 
sent inefficient state of the Colonial Office. Until 
a costly and bloody revolt takes place, carrying 
desolation to the hearths of hundreds, or thou- 
sands perhaps (as in Ceylon, Canada^ Ireland, 
South Wales), Government will allow almost any 
grievance to pursue its melancholy course. The 
wretchedness, which the official eye seeth not, goes 
for nothing ; and this, not from any inhumanity 
inherent in the man, but from the immense amount 
and distracting variety of his labours. 

Emigration is too expensive, it is said; but let 
there be a whisper only of war, and millions are 
at once squandered on every imaginable engine 
of devastation. The arsenals of the Tower, of 
Woolwich, and Portsmouth, shake with the pre- 
parations, j 

All our ministries are alike. The air of office is 
soporific, I really think that the higher officers 
of the Colonial department may be fairly likened 
to certain curious shell-fish in the British seas. 




Dunng the first half of their existence (out of 
office) they swim ieely about, and have eyes 
ears, and feelers, ,^hich they use as freely; buJ 
as soon as their greit instinctive want is supplied 
-that of finding a berth, a inooring-pkce, on a 
rock or on a fish, th^se important organs, one by 
one, successively drop off, and they perform but 
one act-that of feeding. They descend into a 
ojver rank of animal life, and become what are 
cal ed barnac es. S<> it seen,s to be in the Colo- Office. It appears to be comparatively deaf 
and sightless. ^ 

I am irameasuraby astonished that men of 
undoubted conscientjousness and talent, of hi^h 
birth and ample fortune, like Earl Grey, will 
undertake impossible duties, and thus consent to 
injure the.r feilow-suijects. through unavoidable 
oversights, misinformation, and crude views. And 
yet, seeing all this, thby are the last to call out for 
a remedy, when in thf sight of all thinking per- 
sons they are themselles equally sufferers 

The fact is, that through the lapse of time the 
Colonial Office requires to be reconstituted. The 
whole responsibility of^governing forty-three most 
dissimilar colonies shf)uld not be thrown, as it 
truly IS, upon one mah, whose tenure of office is 
but, upon an average, two years. 
As Mr. Scott stated in Parliament, in the spring 



of 1849, " the duties of the Colonial Secretary 
are of the most varied and embarrassing nature. 
They are legal, judicial, political, naval, and mi- 
litary. They are connected with the ordnance, 
the church, the state, with convicts, with old and 
new colonies, to preserve ancient possessions, and 
establish fresh settlements." 

Earl Grey, then Lord Howick, in 1845, stated 
himself that it was not possible for any man, 
be his powers what they may, adequately to 
administer the complicated affairs of the British 

The work of the Colonial Office ought to be 
immediately distributed into three or more de- 
partments, separate, or conjoint in the form of a 
Board. Let one principal Secretary, with an 
adequate staff, preside over (and be responsible 
in Parliament for) our North American colonies ; 
another for those in the West Indies. Africa, and 
South America ; and a third for our Australian 
and other dependencies in the South Seas. Our 
possessions in the Mediterranean may be other- 
wise attended to. If we confide to this board, or 
to these three secretaries, the superintendence of 
emigration, in addition to the ordinary business 
of the colonies, there will be plenty to do. 

When Sir George Murray was Secretary of the 
Colonies, with Mr. Wilinot Horton as olae of the 





Colt Tn ;"' '' "" P^^P"-'^ ^« ^-- a 
Colon , Board ; b.t the project unfortunately fell 

through, hke „,any other good things i„ /faich 

::ier"^ "°4^^^^"^^ ----- con 

Diligent and en ightened n,en to undertake 
those ,n,por,ant dep^rtn^ents abound ; their sala- 
-.woulc^he repaid to the country a thousand- 

The work of emigration is eminently govern- 
ment work, savs Mill tJ, i- • , to"''';™ 
Tt i^ ..II 7 ' I ' ^ P°^'^"^^^ economist. 

It I. called upon to remove, or rather re-distribu]^ (not| as a cure, but as a relief 
by US bemg the greaf colonial landowner, by its' 
capital and credit, by it. possession of aJou 
pubhc depots (buildiigs, &c.) both at home and 
abroad, and likewise 0f experienced agents. 

It might feel itself 
"by a decent sense of 

urged to assist emigration 

^^^ ^"^y it owes to its dis- 

tressed constituents, l^- the facility and certain 

peopt ' '"' ="'^^"'^^ *^' '^ ^^^--^ 

There is no occasiol at this time of day to 
a.gue about the adva:|tages of emigration, both 
to the mot er-countrv and to the new colonist. 
The e have long been k.own to begreat.<but espe- 
cially to the latter. MHI and Malthus. common 




sense aqd ample experience, all speak the same 
language upon this subject. 

As long as a man can obtain a fair day's wages 
for a fair day's work there is no occasion for him 
to leave his birth-place on the score of subsist- 
ence ; but when he cannot, and has no reasonable 
prospect of doing so, like the labourers of Wilts 
and Dorset at all times, and like the artisans of 
Yorkshire, &c. but too often, it i3,high time to emi- 


grate to some more generous labd. The labour- 
market at home is permanently overstocked. 

For myself, if I belonged to either of these 
classes — if I found my country profitless and hard 
— if I had here to linger a portionless man — if 
I were daily growing more wan under privation 
^ — with no other prospect than that of a work- 
Louse at last — then I certainly should look around 
for a soil less ungrateful — for a future more cheer- 
ing — and towards some corner of the earth where 
my spade and axe would yield me a manna less 
scanty. There are hundreds of thousands in Bri- 
tain thus circumstanced, and they know it bitterly. 

The true remedy for this state of things lies 
deep in the moral nature of man, and will be 
mainly found there; all others are only secondary. 
We need the diffusion among our people of such 
an industrial and religious trainins: as shall direct 
aright their abundant energies, enable them to 




maintain themselves withont excessive . • 
greater future good an,? fi f *''"'<=«tions for a 

B". .his i. a slow pi s a„d ^ TT"""'^"""- 

I ^fiall ^ t^'^'^'^s ot Jike tendeiicv 

i suail now. onrp r^- „ii f^J- 

P-.;ca, obse™.:!.'! eXd T'""" ° '"' 
d'rings among ,I,e , t.Ter T, "'' """" 


elected spot, or be skill J "''''"''j' 

handicraft '' '" """' ™"'^'' »«ejed 

* It may be said that the 
agent at Livenwol, London, 
no pleasing recollections of 
them abroad. 

poor emigrant may apply to the 

luebec, or elsewhere; but having 

officials, he is shy of approaching 



leave these shores in such organised bodies, so 
selected and so led, from the first step to the last, 
that as little as possible should be left to chance. 

This is the great desideratum. Having pro- 
vided a district of country— with due regard 
to health, markets, fertility, and a few other 
points— thither direct should be taken, in the 
month of May, one, two, or three ship-loads of 
emigrants, assorted according to age and sex, 
as well as to trades and occupations, adapted to 
supply the wants of the whole emigrating com- 
munity. How excellent is the German plan of 
emigration — that of the whole village (or its 
greater part) going, and taking with them their 
clergyman. One or more superintendents (me- 
dical men,* if possible), with assistants accus- 
tomed to the colony, should remain on the 
settlement for some time to keep the people toge- 
ther, encourage them, direct their exertions, per- 
suade them to assist ^ach other in hut-buildino- 
and other heavy operations, and even for a 
period to work for the common good. Associated 
labour in the commencement is of especial im- 

* A class of medical men, experienced in the superintendence 
of large emigrant parties, and constantly emi.Ioyed, should be 
created and encouraged by fair remuneration. The profession con- 
tains a large number of men of administrative abiUty, medical 
skill, and philanthropic views, who would gladly embrace thii 
mode of life for twenty years or so. 

VOL. I. e 





portance, and is almost sure to lead to permanent 
prosperity, n 

This is the truf system. It may be accom- 
phshed m many wajs. The working classes may 
do It for themselves, but they seldom can procure 
rustworthy and pr,^dent agents. The agent of 
the operative class i^ apt to find the handling of 
large sums of mondy too much for his honesty, 
and the whole body s extremely gullible, or they 
would not think o| settling with the Potters^ 
Association in Wisconsin, in a Siberian climate, 
inore than a thousand miles into the interior 
when Canada West js nearer, and under ever; 
aspect infinitely preferable. ^ 

Associated parishes might in this manner send 
out to some preparc|d locality their redundant 
hands, under the guidance of a discreet bailiff In 
this case the prospect js not so good, from the in- 
ferior capacities of the emigrants ; but eventually 
ni one way or another^ good would be done. 

Cap.talists who can trait for returns would find 
this kind of planned Emigration a safe and suffi- 
ciently lucrative investment. I believe the two 
great couipanies now ft work in this manner in 
the Canadas are satisjied with their prospects. 
Ihere are fe.v comniunijties so prosperous as those 
ofOuelph.Galt, and s^me other townships cre- 
ated under the auspices of the Canada Company 



The British Government can do all this with 
greatly increased facilities ; but the precise man- 
ner, although sufficiently obvious, it does not 
enter into my plan to develope. I have said 
that they are bound to make a speedy com- 
mencement, j 

Allow me to make a comparison. If I give 
the form of an axe-head to a suitable piece of 
iron, sharpen the proper edge, and attach to it 
a stout handle, I am sure that with my new tool 
I can fell a tall oak, and perhaps a thousand. 
Now I am just as assured that if a skilled agent 
take twenty, or two hundred families, healthy, 
industrious, with some workers in wood and 
iron among them, and plant them in some select 
spot in fertile Canada West, they will in a few- 
years be a prosperous community, not only above 
want for ever, but able to repay the expenses of 

The comparative cheapness of sending families 
to Canada must give it a permanent preference 
over Australia and the Cape. 

The English man and woman leave their native 
village, hedge-rows, and old familiar faces, with 
reluctance. In the midland counties there is not 
so strong a temptation to go as in Wiltshire and 
Dorsetshire, where the labourers are in extreme 
poverty. An influential and active clergyman in 



W,l,A,re co„fe«ed ,„ „,e, .h„ ho„ hi, p„„, „„. 
on a all „„ .,„i, „^„„t,j „ P J g«' 

?, ° "", ^7"""=" "» '-I """ »"1. a. Cambridge, 
n well ,„f„„„ed a„d a™bi,i„„,^an 
q".te read, ,„ e„,ba,k for a colon,. Half Ireland 
-"id go ,, a word ; and .he, a,' right, tj 

m l^ew Yo.k, „,akj,„g. , „,„^, .^ 

delve. o„l,, „nder American in,,pec.„ J s" h 

:r.'"""7">--i<'"-='e; s„eVc.ivi.,:„d 

ft", good ea,n,g .„d hard drinking, alas 'I 
never behed, SoniP nF tu^ , 

would I.„ r ™*'"^^ *^"^ ^"'•"'^d 

would , a share of the neighbouring foresf. 
ien o, fifteen years from that time would find 
some of these people independent and r c h • the 
others still poor, because wasteful ' " 

For their own bene|t, and that of other, dis 
ressed labouring n^enjshould emigrate wi h 'tl!^ L" 

fan..hes. ,f healthy, hopeful, and^-illin/c; 
racter nmst be touched on tenderly Tf " u\ 

po..e« ,he dncili., L„i,,j ;„ ^ '^ 'hj 

Farme,,, ,, .„d .,,isa„s „i,h ^t 
cap. al ma, ,.ea.o„abl,t,,c« ,o do well. C 
ar HI,. co„,.dcring .l,e price of necessaries. 1 
n l",!'":: " T"^" -"'-^ ">— n,e„ 

are needed, not in the sp-board towns. 




Thirty different artisans, who arrived at Guelph, 
in Canada West, in 1833, 1834, and 1835, were 
without money, furniture, and nearly without 
clothing. Six years afterwards, they would not 
take from 200/. to 500/. each for their property ! 
Some who had a few pounds would not take 
double these sums for their gains, while there are 
a few tradesmen who, to judge by their buildings 
and farms, must have acquired large capitals. 

The prices of British manufactures are moderate 
in the Canadas, from the low rate of custom-house 
duties, competition, and improved roads; but the 
poorer settler should, as much as possible, make 
his articles of consumption at home— spin, weave, 
dye, make soap, candles, &c. He can often sino--! 

" I grow my own lamb, 
My own butter and ham ; 
I shear my own sheep, and I wear it." 

Gossip must not be thought necessary to a young 
emigrant's happiness. A life of retirement— save 
a holiday now and then— self-dependence, and the 
pleasurable feeling of advancement, must suffice 
for a time. He must beware of new friends. The 
highways and byways of America are full of active 
and plausible villains. The very woods have some 
caves of Adullam. He must beware of early be- 
coming a iiolitician — for politics are apt to lead 





mtoa wh, perhaps his opinions are 
not worth propagating. Try to be content with 
ike homely fashions of your neighbours. Depend 
upon it there is a fitness in them. 

The agricultural inliabitants of the remoter dis- 
tricts are especially re^dy to assist one another 
both on great and snjall occasions. The nature 
of their position leadi to this, and each, in his 
turn, finds his accoun^ in it. Their solitariness, 
constant occupation, j^nd palpably growing pro- 
sperity, have produced among the country people 
an unsuspecting frien^lly habit of mind, great 
openness with strangers, and, consequently, a 
large hospitality ; so that manners and ways 
which in England wo|ld be imprudencies, and 
even improprieties, ceaie to be so here. 

To shew my meaning by an apparently trivial 
circumstance. I was orte day refreshing, at a sort 
of half inn in the woodsy on one of the branches of 
the beautiful river Trent[ thirty or forty miles north 
of Lake Ontario, when jhe eldest daughter, a fine 
girl of sixteen, came anjl sat by my side on the 
bench before the house, tvhich commanded a wide 
wilderness view. She readily, and with genuine 
modesty, told me the whole history of her family, 
of her own doings, and those of all her young 
acquaintance, ending by singing a song, sweetly 
and natu:8?'y. 



She came from the Black River, in the state of 
New York, and had been in Rawdon four years. 
All this would have been impossible in England ; 
but here it is an ordinary event ; and this partly 
because, in this abundant country, hasty marriages 
are not fatalities, although probably ujiwise. 

The settler should determine to make his new 
abode his resting-place for life, and he will be the 
happier. He must think little about England, 
except when a countryman asks his hospitality 
and his advice. 

The emigrant should have solid reasons for 
leaving Britain: — for instance, because he and 
his cannot live in comfort, and because in Canada 
he can. He must not leave in a fit of ill-temper 
or idleness, but to labour for a high remuneration ; 
for that is the great and real advantage of emi- 
gration. \ 

His new residence will have its disagreeables in 
the odd, but, in the main, suitable ways of the new 
people — the vile roads — the distance from mar- 
kets, shops, church, acquaintance — and, in the 
summer, the plague of mosquitoes. But what 
are these, in comparison with the ruinous disap- 
pointments and maddening struggles for existence, 
but too frequent in Europe ? 

As a rule, but not without exceptions, bulky 
articles should not be taken from England (not 

{If !•' 


I t 



purchased there, at ljast).-such as agricultural 
-plements, furnitur^, crockery, &c. They can 
be had cheap and good on the spot. 

The best month to arrive in Canada is May a 
productive summer is before the stranger. 

All the principal t<^wns have energetic pubh-c 
institutions, for the benefit of the sick and des- 
titute ; and pubh-c works are almost always goin^ 
on, which afford regular and good pay 

• "^"^7.°,?^' '"^''^ ''t* ^'" *"■•" t« °»ost profit 
in good bills. , ^ 

Hitherto, I have beqn speaking to the working 
man : now a fesv word^ to the capitalist. 

There is not a mor. advantageous position on 
the face of the globe in point of climate, comforts 
society, security, and ,general prospects, than a 
farm near one of the ndmerous centres of business 
m Canada West, for tf e family (once, perhaps, 
sorely pmched in England) of a half-pay officer 
small annuitant, or somewhat reduced gentleman: 
Very few of the privileges of the old country are ! 
here sacrificed ; for gopd society clusters round 
these ni»r>oc ^.,„u _. tt .■ _ 

these places — such as 

Hamilton, Toronto, the 

Ottawa River, &c. All ^he members of the family 
meet, with their appropriate occupations and plea- 
sures, out-door and in-door. Good markets are 
n^h at hand. London news is only a fortnight 
old, and local intelligence spreads rapidly ; while 



the farm, with or without half-pay, should sup- 
port all in light-hearted abundance. The half-pay 
is chiefly useful in maintaining gentility. 

Canada ought to be the paradise of this large 
and worthy class ; and is so, comparatively, to 
thousands. ' i 

Such farms,- with their necessary buildings, are 
still to be had, at very moderate prices. 

A raw country and their population will seldom 
suit the great capitalist. The delicate habits in 
which he has been educated will be subject to an 
endless succession of shocks and jars — intolerable, 
unless neutralised by the natural or morbid stimu- 
lus of a darling project. Here is one great defect 
in Wakefield's beautiful scheme of colonisino- with 
capital and labour combined. As a rule, capital 
refuses to go where the owner must accompany 
it — the scheme halts, and is, in fact, defeated. It 
is very unsafe to send out capital to take care of 
itself. " I will not go ; for I can find in England 
tolerable employment for my capital, and can, 
at the same time, enjoy the thousand nameless 
agremens and conveniencies of an old country." 

As a specimen of the daily small annoyances 
that are here met with. A large capitalist invested 
in iron mines and forges in Canada West. He 
built and furnished a house in the English style. 
He had occasion to advertise for tenders to clear 

! ■( 



Yankee, thinking of nothing but timber and dol- 

ars. carne .uh his oker. He was introduced into 

he paHour, bright ^i.h its new],-papered walls! 

and figured carpet. The An^erican, as he strug- 

wall, rubbed his wft greasy hair against the 
paper, when Mr. Charles Hayes beg4d him to 
keep his head off the ^all, which he insfant^id 
but soon afterwards, very unconsciously, rollei 
h'S quid, and spat on the new carpet. Mr C 
remonstrated, when t^ woodman waxed wa;m' 

and said,. Neighbour^ I see we are not likely to' 
do busmess. You ar^ a hard man, and make 

bothers. You know ril do cheap ; 'and yeTwe 
dent progress." . Y^s," said the Englifh^an 
we shall progress, if you will step outwitlTm 

-to the garden;" wl.ere. in facl. terms we™e 
agreed upon in a few minutes. 

Some persons blindly rush beyond the limits of 
civihsation. and are surprised to find themselves 
"either happy nor useful. Many a town-bred 
lady has found herself thus. 

For the sake of the female part of his family 

no man should venture into the Canadian::^ 
unless he can very materially better his condition. 
The ladies must milk their own cows, cook 
their own mutton, scald 


and cut up their pork, 




and so forth. But there are hundreds of cleared 
farms in the upper province, to be had on 
easy terms, where none_of these things need be 

No purely professional man, excepting, per- 
haps, the minister of religion, can expect an 
income in Canada. Law and physic are over- 
stocked. The importing merchant treads on slip- 
pery ground ; but the shopkeeper does better. 

For a person in easy circumstances to retire to 
Canada might not be unwise ; but for such a per- 
son to fix himself in the United States, would 
argue great ignorance or perversity. In fact, it 
is rarely or never done. If an Englishman present 
himself as a resident at Philadelphia, or New York, 
without an ostensible calling— being neither a 
merchant, diplomatist, soldier, nor naturalist, the 
people of the place patiently wait until the ugly 
secret of his being there explodes, which sooner 
or later takes place with great certainty, when he 
is cut by everybody worth knowing. The tone of 
society in the United Stateslsd^isagreeably different 
from that of England — it is more angular and 
obtrusive. This remark extends to Canada West, 
but in a much less degree. 

Society^in the United States is constantly fluc- 
tuating : all is change and dizzy agitation. Local 
attachment scarcely exists. A man will, at a 




moments notice, sell ,h.f„,„„„ 

bon,, and „„.e .,.„,^ „ .j„„^^„j ^ - 

neighbours justlly hira.» 

H„l! l' r ^ '^" '">'• '" <"" »f hi' able 
wnnuied appearance " ' 

of tI,P ,. '''^ *''^ ™^"' ^"'^ still more' 

In the Western S^tes," a respectable Ame- 
ncan merohan. ...... ed to us the i.her day « Je 

'"'="''"'■ '-''"''■■• ^ yo„r lords dr,heg„Il 

pect fever and ao-ue 

* ' "" j"ui loras do the o-nnt 
-nually." A good ^et of teeth is a Z^t 
America past thirty yedrs of a<.e ^ 

A rough animal hajjpiness Is diffused all over 
North Amenca; and | rejoice to know it But 
grumblers are ev^r,,^ >„.„ "' ^"* 

grumblers are evervw 
them;— some on specu 

lere — you cannot escape 
ilation, others because they 

. -j-v-u.auuij, oruers beca 

are .njudicous, idle, intemperate, or sick. 

* The philosopher justifies Urn thus — « Thp a • 
things without allowing himself^ to h. f ! ' American uses 

behold everywhere the fre wlS ' '" ""'"•= ''^ '*'«'"• ^e 
^ lost the power of sta.^ ^^^^rrST "'"'^' '^'"'^'' 
-ting the nation into distinct pl^ple, j 'if "''''"''"'' "^ ^''P- 
.-atsway in.the Old World'ro itge/^^^^^^ ^^''^^^'^ 
country wins all interest, and allflffectir. "t " ^''" ^"^"^ 

geographical country." Lj^^Z^„r ' " °^«^-»*'ehes entirely 
<"«., p. 301 f ^"''°'' '^'"•''* "'"i Man. LeL 



There is not much of tlje picturesque near the 
usual home of the working emigrant. A clear- 
ance in the woods is very offensive to the eye, be- 
ing a dismal scene of uncouth log-huts, blackened 
stumps, leafless scorched trees and awkward 

2ig-zag fences 

It is in Canada as in every other part of the 
globe. ^ A producing country lies low, and is un- 
attractive : fine scenery is usually sterile. The 
Indians, lingering among the whites, are not 
picturesque. Cotton Mather, the old Puritan of 
MassachussetP, quaintly and truly calls them 
" doleful creatures, the ruins of man." The place 
where they become so is seldom an advisable re- 
sidence for the emigrant. 

I was sorry to observe, in the more retired parts 
of Canada, that when the difficulties are sur- 
mounted, and all is secure and comfortable, the 
settler is apt to fall into a dull and moping state. 
There is now little to interest ; the farm Tnd the 
boys work well by themselves ; neighbours are 
distant. There is no stimulus at hand preservative 
of the domestic proprieties. AH are necessarily 
careless of dress in summer; while in winter a 
whole wardrobe of old clothes is called for at 
once. In summer, while on travel in an open 
boat, I have not seen my coat for a month together. 
The females, I am bound to say, bear a wood- 



land life far better than 
active, and tidy in their 

the men ; are cheerful, 
persons. I have been 
often very pleased with itheir healthy, satisfied, 
and smart appearance while mounting their Dear- 
born spring waggon on Sundays to go to church, 
driven by a brother. 

I have repeatedly witnessed the whole progress 
of a new settlement from birth to maturity — from 
the first blow of the axe to the erection of churches, 
hotels, and mansions of dut stone. 

While encamped on a woody island for three 
weeks in the River St. Clair (Michigan), I one 
evening saw a boat bring to, on the east or 
British shore, not far from me, and then a forest. 
I paddled over in my canoe to see what the 
arrival was. 

It was a large boat l^dep almost to sinking 
•with a hearty family of five persons (the parents 
and three children), with all sorts of lumbering 
chests and rude furnishings, a long gun, tools, 
axes, hoes, spades, a dog| or two, a few poultry, 
and a barrel or two of flour and pork. This was 
the true pioneer family. 

While I loitered about 

for a couple of hours, th(;y landed and arranged 
their goods, and went to sleep on matting, snug 
under the fras:rant shelter of pine branches. 

them, not unwelcome. 

Two days afterwards I 

found my friends com- 




fortably housed in an oblong log-hut well caulked 
with clay. For such expeditious building they 
must have had help from others. 

I shall not ask you to accompany this settler 
through his cheerful winter work of felling and 
girdling trees, of burning and clearing away the 
underwood of his intended farm, and now and 
then bringing home a deer or wild turkey. 

Many such scenes I have witnessed. I have 
returned to the spot two or three years afterwards, 
and found the family, if strong-handed, or if they 
have had a little capital, in possession of a com- 
fortable log-house, out-buildings, oxen, a cow, and 
pi<rs and poultry innumerable. From five to thirty 
acres have been cleared and planted, while per- 
haps a hundred more remain, and as yet only 
yield pasture and fuel. In from six to ten years, 
additional comforts spring up with aU enlarged 
clearance. The original hut may be a stable, and 
a two-storied frame-house may have been built, 
shining all over with white paint and bright green 
doors and window-shutters. 

By this time neighbours have approached, roads 
have been struck into the more recent settlements, 
and the Englishman, at least, is pleased to find 
the human tide flowing towards him, brmgmg 
consumers for his produce and enhanced value to 
his land. 



land life far better than the men; are cheerful, 
active, and tidy in heir persons. I have been 
often very pleased with their healthy, satisfied, 
and smart appearance while mounting their Dear- 
bom spring waggon on Sundays to go to church, 
driven by a brother. | 

I have repeatedly vitnessed the whole progress 
of a new settlement fifom birth to maturity — from 
the first blow of the ajje to the erection of churches, 
hotels, and mansions of cut stone. 

While encamped cjn a woody island for three 
weeks in the River St. Clair (Michigan), I one 
evening saw a boat! bring to, on the east or 
British shore, not far from me, and then a forest. 
I paddled over in my canoe to see what the 
arrival was. | 

It was a large bok laden almost to sinking 
with a hearty family jof five persons (the parents 
and three children), toith all sorts of lumberino- 
chests and rude furnishings, a long gun, tools, 
axes, hoes, spades, a dog or two, a few poultry, 
and a barrel or two o|f flour and pork. This was 
the true pioneer familk 

While I loitered about them, not unwelcome, 
for a couple of hours! they landed and arrano-ed 
their goods, and went to sleep on matting, snuo- 
under the fragrant shelter of pine branches. 

Two days afterwards I found my friends com- 



fortably housed in an oblong log-hut well caulked 
with clay. For such expeditious building they 
must have had help from others. 

I shall not ask you to accompany this settler 
through his cheerful winter work of felling and 
crirdling trees, of burning and clearing away the 
underwood of his intended farm, and now and 
then bringing home a deer or wild turkey. 

Many such scenes I have witnessed. I have 
returned to the spot two or three years afterwards, 
and found the family, if strong-handed, or if they 
have had a little capital, in possession of a com- 
fortable log-house, out-buildings, oxen, a cow, and 
pi<rs and poultry innumerable. From five to thirty 
acres have been cleared and planted, while per- 
haps a hundred more remain, and as yet only 
yield pasture and fuel. In from six to ten years, 
additional comforts spring up with an enlarged 
clearance. The original hut may be a stable, and 
a two-storied frame-house may have been built, 
shining all over with white paint and bright green 
doors and window-shutters. 

By this time neighbours have approached, roads 
have been struck into the more recent settlements, 
and the Englishman, at least, is pleased to find 
the human tide flowing towards him, bringmg 
consumers for his produce and enhanced value to 
his land. 



These people are plainly, but warmly clad ; 
on Sunday with great propriety, even if thirty 
miles from a church ; which seldom need be the 

All this has been repeatedly accomplished by 
an Irish desperado, whose life at home was 
divided between tl^e drunken party-fights and 
hopeless starvation. 

I once spent four days in a town in the state of 
New York, with three fine churches, many inns, 
a public library, museum, and eight thousand in- 
habitants, standing upon ground which, five years 
before, was a beech forest, unconscious of stir or 
sound, save of the adjacent cascades. Some stub- 
born tree-stumps wjere still in the back streets 
(Rochester). To dse the graphic language of 
Birkbeck, " If you look at such a place as this 
after the lapse of tl^irty years, or less (Sandusky, 
Cleaveland, &c.), what a mighty change has been 
effected ! The village is a city, and contains 
its congregated tejis of thousands, its streets, 
squares, halls, fanes, hospitals, and all the civic 
machinery of an Hanse town. There may be in 
the neighbourhood a black stump; but the raw 

desolation is "one : 

the breeze, and fruits and flowers surround the 

dwellin<;s. The wi 

hours like a servar t in the factory ; the woods 

the rich corn-field waves in 

d stream is tamed, and la- 



retreat, leaving a few trees for friendly shade ; 
and the wolf and bear steal away from a place 
which is no longer for them." 

By way of conclusion to these little jottings on 
a most important subject, I will repeat, that in 
Canada the labourer and artisan have two great 
advantages, — far better wages and better invest- 
ments than in England. To the capitalist I may 
make the encouraging remark, that the more 
you invest prudently the greater your gains. 
Your first year or two, however, should be spent 
in" observation, in learning rather than in acting. 
With good sense and industry the ordinary emi- 
grant may, after a few years, rest assured, with 
the blessing of God, of ease and competence. In- 
stead of want and hopelessness, he will see a 
yearly increase in the value of his possessions, 
partly from his own exertions, and partly from 
the generally increased value of land. His t;hild- 
ren's prospects are still higher. They may look 
forward to opulence. Many of the sons of poor 
settlers, Irish or British, are members of the co- 
lonial legislatures. 

I advise for settlement, at the present time, 
the vicinity of the River Ottawa, the north and 
west shores of Lake Ontario, the shores of Lake 
Simcoe, the vast peninsula between the three 
Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron, and, finally, 

VOL. I. H 



the eastern townships of Lower Canada which 
border on the states of Vermont and Maine. 

1 greatly prefer the Canadas, as an emigration- 
field, to the United States, and am deeply con- 
cerned to see so many of my fellow-countrymen 
burying themselves in the unhealthy and other- 
wise undesirable regions of Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, 
and Iowa. I wish they would remember, that 
even in the wilder ^arts of Canada life and pro- 
perty are safe, laws are respected, and religion held 
in its due reverence, which is not always the case 
in the above-mentioned parts of the United States. 

In Canada the climate is healthy, in Upper 
Canada particularly so, except in the extreme 
south-west. The air is remarkable for its clear- 
ness, dryness, and ejihilarating effects. It is quite 
common for an invalid from England to lose his 
complaints, gather great strength, and live to a 
good old age. Thp average number of rainy 
the nine years ending 1845, 
was 178 in London. The 
temperature of Upjier Canada is much milder 
than is generally supposed. The vast bodies of 
water occupying th^ valley of the St. Lawrence 
must mitigate both ihe heat and the cold. 

The markets are good and near, the population 
friendly and comfortable, ready to teach new 
comers the best methods of labour. 

days at Toronto, for 
was only 87. It 




Land of the first quality is plentiful on mode- 
rate terms, either wild or cleared. European 
goods are much cheaper than in the United 
States. Taxation is almost unknown. Internal 
communication is easy and rapid, by canals, 
lakes, rivers," and highways. All Christian de- 
nominations receive public support. There are 
more ministers of religion, in proportion, than in 
England. The acts of Government are usually, 
and their intentions always, truly paternal. The 
United Province, de facto, governs itself. News- 
papers abound, filled with British intelligence. 

I could be well content to pass the remainder 
of my days within the sound of the Falls of the 
Chat, on the Ottawa River. 

The fever at the Hawksbury settlement bavin"- 
been apparently extinct for ten days, I bade an 
unwilling adieu to my kind but unfortunate hosts 
at Hamilton Mills, on my return to Quebec. 

I determined to walk the whole way to Mont- 
real, sixty miles, and left, not overpressed with 
baggage, early in a dewy morning, "just as the 
sound of a going was heard in the sycamore 
trees." i '' ^ 

The dense, dripping woods through which mv 
path for the nine first miles lay, with now and 



then a bog-hole, soOn soaked my smart boots 
through and through. My wet stockings so 
chafed my feel that I was fain to walk in boots 
only. In much pain I made twenty-five miles 
that day, through alternate clearances and forest ; 
but towards night, rvhen the stars broke forth 
above the tree-tops, I wished for a resfmg-place. 

Walking on, however, through the woods until 
it was quite dark, and every bush was a bear, I 
thouo-ht good to get a thick stick instead of the 
slender one with which I slung my bundle over 
my shoulder. Scarcely had I done so when I 
heard the barking of dogs, and a turn in the 
dusky path shewed me the glimmer of a cottage 

The dogs were soon upon me; but my stick 
kept them at bay mtil I got within shouting- 
distance, when, at my cries, the large door of the 
house opened, and 30ured out such a rejoicing 
flood of light as onlj an American wood-fire can 

It was a humb e house of entertainment 
(Schneider's), to m^ most welcome. Excellent 
bread, milk, honey, ^ind a little bacon, was all it 
could ofier, and all ^ required ; but the genuine 
kindness, the foot-bath, the snowy bed-sheets of 
that night, are still most pleasantly remembered. 

The next morning I went on my way. While 



creeping round the great bay at the mouth of the 
Ottawa (west shore), a miller, out of spontaneous 
compassion at my foot-sore state, took me into 
his cart for two miles. The same evening I 
arrived at La Chine, within nine miles of Mont- 

The next morning, Mne and weary, I set forth 
as a humble pedestrian for Montreal. 

I had been heavily dragging foot after foot for 
about five miles, but not without being jrfeased 
with the activity of the motley population of 
French, Irish, and Scotch on the road, and with 
the richly-verdured heights on the north, in all 
the gaudy tints of autumn, when, while skirting 
the ancient sea-banks of St. Henry, I saw a 
girlish figure creep from under the dry arch of 
a bridge which crossed the road, and begin to 

She was soon surrounded by a group of child- 
ren from three or four cottages close by; but 
she kept up her dancing, and threw ofi", first, 
her bonnet, then her shawl, and then her un- 
der-neckerchief, singing and jumping wildly 
about, with her long hair all loose about her 

Not being very lively at the moment, I was 
paying little attention to this scene, although now 
very near, when on a sudden the poor woman 




rushed on me, and 

round my neck, and so 

stand, exclaimed, — 

" Doctor, I am 

flinging her arms wildly 
violently that I could hardly 

•oily White! Polly! that 
came in the same shij> with j^ou ! Save me, Doc- 
tor : I am dancing to keep these people from 
murdering me, as th ;y did my William. I have 
given them all my clothes, and they are not satis- 
fied," &c. &c. in an^ endless flow of piercing tones 
and sobhings, neve^ heard but from maniacal 

Looking narrowly, and not a little frightened, 
at the flushed, demerted face, I saw truly that it 
was Mrs. White, a I'ellow cabin-passenger from 
England, the young mother of three children, 
and going out to Canada with them to join her 
husband, who held some small government em- 
ploy at Montreal. 

Her gentle manners, obliging disposition, and 
well-behaved children, had made her quite a 
favourite among us. 

How or why she was here, and in this poor 
plight, and what a vjjeary stranger like me, acci- 
dentally all but peDJniless, was to do with her, 
was past my comprehension. 1 knew of no 
provision for such a\ calamity as this in Mont- 
real or in Canada, for I had only been two 
hours in the former and two months in the latter. 



However, I tried to soothe her, and gradually 
drew her into the nearest hut. 

After listening for some time to her shrill 
torrent of incoherence, as she sat and stood by 
turns, I tried to put a few questions to her ; but 
getting no answer, I sat ruminating what to do. 

The door being open, and looking aslant up 
the road from Montreal, I saw a stout, elderly 
gentleman slowly approaching on a bay mare. 

Several neighbours had come in — poor people, 
but women, and much distressed for this poor 
waif of their own sex ; so, making a sign to them 
to take care of Mrs. White, 1 advanced to the 
gentleman, and told him what must be called our 

He proved to be a magistrate, and kindly dis- 
mounted. After having looked at the poor lady, 
he requested the tenant of the cottage (to whom he 
was well known) to take care of her for an hour 
or two, by which time he would send a district 
officer to take her to Montreal. 

I afterwards heard, that on her arrival at 
Montreal from England she found her husband 
dead, and herself and children all but friendless. 
This sudden and heavy blow bereft her of reason. 

When I met her, she had escaped from some 
place of confinement. 

As I mournfully left this poor thing, like a 



crushed flower, I remembered, with Archbishop 
Sumner, that this world is initiatory, not final — 
that our peace herie is not to flow as a river, 
and that " every soi-row cuts a string and teaches 
us to rise." 

In a couple of days I left Montreal for Quebe* 
per steamer. 



Montreal ; Island, City, and Society— North-west Stores — Peter 
Pond— Boat Song — Dancing Pheasants, &c. — North-west Fur 
Traders— Lake St. Louis — Ottawa River— Light Canoe— M. de 
Rocheblave — Munitions de Bouche — Voyageurs — Indian Village 
— Flooded River — Gaelic Maid — American Farm — Hull — Phile- 
mon Wright — Lakes Chaudiire, Chat — Falls of La Montague 
and Grand Calumet — Riviere Creuse ; Western Branch, Tesonac 
— Miss Ermatinger — Lake Nipissing— Freqch River. 


In the spring of the year following my mission 
to the sick settlers at Hawksbury, the Colonial 
Government was pleased to send me'-Tln-ough 
Upper Canada to make a general report upon 
its geology, of which at that time nothing was 
known. Since then the province has appointed 
an official geologist. 

I was very glad of the task, although the pecu- 
niary aid with which I was to prosecute this 
journey of nearly 2000 miles was absurdly small,* 

* Twenty-six pounds. 1 mention this in perfect^ood humour ; 
but travelling in barbarous or semi-barbarous countries is very 




something like Sir [Francis Head's outfit for his 

Had it not been f^r the kindness of the North- 
Fur-traders, and my own 
limited resources, the objects in view would have 
been very imperfectly fulfilled. 

This Company veijy handsomely granted me a 
free passage in a li^ht canoe to the Falls of St. 
Mary, at the outlelj of Lake Superior, by which 
means a large and interesting region, rarely visited 
by scientific persons, was laid open to cursory 
inspection. i 

As I shall, in the sequel, have better opportu- 
nities of sketching Lake Huron and the other 
parts of Upper Cahada, I shall limit this excursion 
to the Rivers Ottawa and Des Francois, with Lake 
Nipissing, premising some remarks on Montreal 
and the fur-traders. 

I arrived at Montreal early in May to join the 
light canoe ; but as it did not set out for a few- 
days, I wandered about the environs, and partook 
of the hospitalities of the town. The picturesque 

expensive. On the northSeast shore of Lake Erie I paid 3/. 10». 
for being taken in a cart sixteen miles in five or six hours. la 
1845 a bill was passed hjy the Canadian House of Assembly to 
appropriate 2000i. annualljt for five years, to make an accurate and 
complete geological survey of the Canadas. An experienced and 
energetic geologist, Mr. LOgan, was appointed for this duty, with 
assistants. His services have already proved very valuable. 




and fertile island of Montreal, upon the south 
side of which the metropolis of British North 
America is situated, is thirty-two miles long by 
ten in its greatest breadth, and with a somewhat 
triangular shape. I 

With the exception of Montreal Hill and its 
dependent alluvial ridge, the island is tolerably 
level, and it is watered by several rivulets. 

Montreal Hill is almost wholly of basalt. This 
rock has risen obtrusively above the surrounding 
layers of limestone, without disturbing their hori- 
zon tality, and has solidified in its present form. 
Not only so, but, as is very curious, it sends forth 
arms, rays, or dykes, from one to fourteen feet 
thick, which run at right angles with the mountain 
a mile or more into the plains around. Masses 
of shell limestone, and single shells, are seen im- 
bedded, and unchanged, in the basalt, which is 
both of the hornblende and augite species.* I 
am not aware of anything similar elsewhere. 

Montreal Hill almost immediately overlooks 
the city. It is three miles long, and comparatively 
narrow ; its height is 650 feet, as measured by 
Lieutenant -colonel Robe, lately Governor of 
South Australia. It dips, on the east and south- 

* Vide " Transactions of the Lyceum of Natural History, New 



east, precipitously from a rounded summit of 
scantily wooded rock, and is elsewhere in hum- 
mocks, or steep dejclivities, clothed with beech, 
maple, and fir. ijhe sides and base are occu- 
pied by orchards, farms, and gentlemen's seats. 
The view from the top is extensive and varied. 
To the south it is ^uch the same as from Mr. 
M'Gillvray's drawing-room window ; to the north 
it exhibits an undulating country, well cultivated 
but woody, with glimpses of the St. Lawrence 
and the Ottawa ; th^ whole bounded by high lands 
trending north-east. This " Mountain," as it is 
here called, is a striking object fropa its massive 
solitariness. | ' 

Montreal is a stirjring and opulent town, with a 
population exceeding 50,000, and therefore larger 
than Quebec. Its inhabitants have always, as the 
Americans say, beeln on the commercial "stam- 
pado." * They ajre enterprising and active, 
pushing their merchandise into the most remote 
wildernesses where there is the chance of a 

Montreal does not wear the heavy, sleepy air 
of Quebec. The social, easy-going Canadian, is 
suffering from a great invasion of Americans and 

* A phrase taken from the stampado of the bison in the plains. 
Vast herds meet on certain occasions, and shake the earth for miles 
round by their incessant and fierce stamping. 





British, who, it is to be confessed, have possessed 
themselves of the bulk of the upper-country 
trade ; but the French labouring class is still very 

Its situation and its environs are very beautiful. 
Few places have so advanced in all the luxuries 
and comforts of high civilisation as Montreal, or 
is so well supplied with religious, philanthropic, 
and scientific institutions in full activity, including 
both a hospital and a college for Protestants, 
besides the rich educational establishment of St. 
Sulpice for the Roman Catholics. 

This town, since I was first there, has been 
renovated — nay, newly-built and greatly extended. 
Some of the show-shops rival those of London in 
their plate-glass windows, and its inns are as 
remarkable for their palatial exterior as they are 
for their excellent accommodation within. Its 
magnificent quays of wrought stone which line 
the St. Lawrence are the admiration of strangers. 
The main cause of this prosperity is the rapid 
peopling of the country westward and southward 
for 600 miles and more. 

In 184-2-43 the population of Upper Canada, 
the trading-ground ofMontreal, was 401,000 souls; 

in 1848 it was nearly 700,000. To this we must 
add a large public expenditure, and, doubtless, a 




very extensive illicit trade with tlie United States 
along the frontiers. 

It does not entei* into my plan to describe the 
splendid Roman Catholic cathedral of this city, 
the more modest anjd yet large Episcopal church, 
the Nelson monume|nt, and other public buildings. 
They have been we|l represented by Mr. Bartlett 
in his " Canadian Scenery." 

I humbly confess my error. 1 found, but did 
not expect to find, at Montreal a pleasing tran- 
script of the best form of London life — even in 
the circle beneath the very first class of official 
families. But I may be pardoned^ for I had 
seen in the capital of another great colony con- 
siderable primitiven^ss of manners, not to mention 
the economical and satisfactory device of the lump 
of sugar candy tied to a string and swung from 
mouth to mouth at ^ tea-party in Cape Town, not 
very long fallen into disuse (1817). 

At an evening party at Mr. R -'s the ap- 
pointments and service were admirable ; the dress, 
manners, and conversation of the guests, in excel- 
lent taste. Most of the persons there, though 
country-born, had bfeen educated in England, and 
everything savoured of Kensington. There was 
much good music. I remember to this day the 
touching effect of a slow air on four notes, sung 



by a sweet voice, and supposed to be a hymn sung 
before a wayside oratory in Tuscany. 

I had the pleasure of dining with the then 
great Amphytrion of Montreal at his seat, on a 
high terrace under the mountain, looking south- 
wards, and laid out in pleasure-grounds in the 
English style. 

The view from the drawing-room windows of 
this large and beautiful mansion is extremely fine, 
too rich and fair, I foolishly thought, to be out of 
my native England. | 

Close beneath you are scattered elegant country 
retreats embowered in plantations, succeeded by a 
crowd of orchards of delicious apples, spreading 
far to the right and left, and hedging in the 
glittering churches, hotels, and house-roofs of 
Montreal, whose principal streets run alongside 
the St. Lawrence. 

To the left of the town nothing particular pre- 
sents itself; but to the right, or south-west, you 
have the pretty village of St. Henry close under 
the steep ridge of St. Pierre, and then the railroad 
and canal leading to La Chine, passing through 
copses and farms, and from time to time betrayed 
by a glancing locomotive or the broad sail of a 
barge. I 

The wide, tumultuous river, and the island of 

. fi 


St. Helen, come next 
with the opposite she 
ings, among which t! 


into view beyond Montreal, 
c re studded with white dwell- 
; le large village of La Prairie 
is conspicuous, with its shining church. Directing 
the eye still farther south, it ranges over a level 
and populous district of great breadth, till arrested 
in one direction by the fine hill of Beloeil, and in 
another by the still ipore remote and lofty moun- 
tains of Vermont and New York. 

Mr. M'Gillvray was accustomed to entertain 
the successive goverilors in their progresses, and 
was well entitled to jsuch honour, not only from 
his princely fortune, but from his popularity, 
honesty of purpose, and intimate acquaintance 
with the true interests of the colony. 

I hope to betray np family secrets in the follow- 
ing little sketch of tlje doings at the dinner-party. 

My host was then i widower, with two agreeable 
and well-educated daughters. The company was 
various, and consist^ of a judge or two, some 
members of the legislative council, and three or 
four retired partners of the North-west Company 
of Fur-traders. Our dinner and wines were 
perfect. The conversation was fluent and sensi- 
ble, far above my Uhere at first, about large 
estates, twenty to thirty miles long, and how to 
improve them by draining, damming, road- 




making, and so forth — operations only in the 
power of great capitalists who can wait for 

For myself, a young man, I listened meekly as 
"deprofundis;" but at length the talk turned to a 
subject more attractive— the Indian fur countries, 
on whose frontiers I was about to wander. 

I was well placed at table, between one of the 

Miss M 's and a singular-looking person of 

about fifty. He was plainly dressed, quiet, and 
observant. His figure was short and compact, 
and his black hair was worn long all round, and 
cut square, as if by one stroke of the shears, just 
above the eyebrows. His complexion was of the 
gardener's ruddy brown, while the expression of 
his deeply-furrowed features was friendly and 
intelligent, but his cut-short nose gave him an 
odd look. His speech betrayed the Welshman, 
although he left his native hills when very young. 

I might have been spared this description of 
Mr. David Thompson by saying he greatly resem- 
bled Curran the Irish orator. 

He was astronomer, first, to the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and then to the Boundary Commission. 
I afterwards travelled much with him, and have* 
now only to speak of him with great respect, or, 
I ought to say, with admiration. 

No living person possesses a tithe of his inform- 

VOL. I. I 

1-1 — i- 




ation respecting thle Hudson's Bay countries, which 
from 1793 to 182(1) he was constantly traversing. 
Never mind his Bunyan-liko fVce and cropped 
hair ; he has a iery powerful mind, and a sin- 
gular faculty of picture-making. He can create 
a wilderness and people it with warring savages, 
or climb the Rocky Mountains with you in a 
snow-storm, so clearly and palpably, that only 
shut your eyes and you hear the crack of the 
rifle, or feel the snow-flakes melt on your cheeks 
as he talks. \ 

The two other north-westers were elderly, busi- 
ness-like Scotchmjen, strong-featured and resolute. 
One of them (of great frame and stature) was lite- 
rally driven from the Indian territories.* These 

* He was a leading ] )artner of the North-west Company of Fur- 
traders, stationed neaT the head waters of the Saskatchawine. 
Unwittingly he offered [what was considered a great insult to the 
child of a powerful Iildian chief, who was expected home that 
night. A people whicli has its meat chewed beforehand by old 

women may have extraordinary notions of honour. Mr. M 

was advised to take fleit horses, as soon as it was dark, and flee 
for his life ; and so he! did, although one of the bravest of men. 
He struck into the rocky wilderness towards the Arctic circle, and 
there hid himself for sii months, living perhaps upon his horses. 
He let his beard grow, land finally crossed the American continent 
as a Canadian boatman; in white capote, green tasselled belt, and 
ostrich feathers in his l[at. When the chief heard his child's story 
he pursued with all his tribe, but in wrong directions — towards 
Canada, the Rocky l|lountains, and into the southern plains. 

Mr. M never retiimed into the fur countries. A few years 

ago he was deputy-lieutenant in a Highland county of Scotland. 



countries are sometimes called Rupert's Land; 
their geography and productions, the romantic 
incidents of a fur-trader's life in hunting and 
in battle, being then quite pet subjects at 
Montreal. The rest of the evening was passed, 
to my great content, in listening to the 
tales about them by one or other of the com- 

Mr. Thompson told us that in his youth he had 
served under Sir Alexander Mackenzie, one of 
the first to cross the American continent in these 
latitudes (now done every week in the year) ; and 
he spoke very highly of his endurance, skill, and 
bravery. He said that Mr. Roderic M'Kenzie, 
then a clerk in the North-west Company, an 
industrious, methodical man, wrote the history of 
the fur-trade in Mackenzie's volume of travels ; 
and that he himself (Mr. T.) furnished the geo- 
graphical sketch of the north-west territories, 
with alterations by Sir Alexander ; some of which 
are inaccurate, as, for instance, the introduction 
into the map of imaginary hills between the 
Beaver and Saskatchawine Rivers. ^ 

Mr. Thompson gave some curious historic 
anecdotes, shewing how Dr. Franklin obtained 
the local information which enabled him to ob- 
tain so favourable a boundary line between the 


|: r 


Canadas and the 


United States from Mr. Oswald, 
the British comriiissioner.* 

Dr. Franklin was indebted for this to Peter 
Pond, a native of Boston, United States, an 
observing, ent(>rprising, unprincipled Indian 
trader in the regions beyond the great lakes. 
This person obtained great influence over his 
royageurs by mijngling in their carousals, by his 
ability and courajge. With Ihe quiet foresight of 
a New Englander, he noted down the topography 
of the countries he visited, and with the help of 
Mr. Cuthbert Grant, then a young clerk in the 
trade, made a tollerable map of them. But such 
was his violent a(nd rapacious disposition, that he 
was taken out of the fur countries for at least one 
murder. The sufferer in the first case was a half- 
pay German officer named Wadanne, much liked 
by the Indians, ind therefore in Pond's way. He 
was trading: with a small outfit from Government 
and a permit, as was then the practice. 

At a portage called Isle a la Crosse, Pond and 
a confederate agreed to get rid of him. It was 
effected thus. They invited Wadanne to sup 

* The natural poin^ of departure from Lake Superior for the 
boundary line is the uliver St. Louis at its upper end. This would 
have been advantageous to Great Britain, in securing to her the 
Upper Missouri, &c. &c. 



with them alone in their tent. Over their cups 
the conspirators engaged in a fierce mock quar- 
rel : both seized their guns. Wadanne tried to 
mediate, and was accidentally shot in the scuffle. 
His thigh-bone was broken, and he died a few 
days after. Mrs. Wadanne was close by ; but 
the mischief was done before she could inter- 
fere. I saw her daughter afterwards at Fort La 
Pluie (J. J. B.).* Pond was brought down and 
lodged in Montreal gaol, but was acquitted for 
want of evidence. 

The Montreal merchants furnished him with an 
outfit, and he returned to the north-west coun- 
tries, wintering in Athabasca, near a fort belongino- 
to a Mr. Ross. Peter pursued his usual roysterino-, 
plundering career. He persuaded his men to rob 
Mr. Ross of a load of furs in open day. In the 
course of the altercation Mr. Ross was shot, really 
by accident, from a gun in the hand oi&voyageur 
named Peche. Pond was blamed, and again 
brought to Montreal. 

While the lawyers were disputing for some 
months whether the Crown had jurisdiction in 
the Hudson's Bay territories, Pond broke out of 

* It is to be confessed, that untQ the Hudson's Bay Company 
had uncontrolled sway over the Indian countries, rapine, drunken- 
ness, and murder, greatly prevailed therein., Indians and European* 
suffered aUke. It is not so now. 



his wooden gaol, and escaped into the United 
States. There l^'ranklin picked him up. It is 
Pond Avas poorly rewarded. 
Franklin tried t|o employ him, but in vain ; he 
was untrustworthy and intractable. 

Mr. Oswald signed, it is said, the Boundary 
Treaty without the necessary information. A few 
hours afterwardfj some Montreal gentlemen ar- 
rived to supply his deficiencies. During his 
interview with them Mr. Oswald shed tears. 

A couple of ye irs after this an Indian trader of 
Montreal, arriving from England at Boston, acci- 
dentally heard o :" Pond being there. Calling at 
his lodgings, he found Pond at dinner, .with two 
or three other people. As soon as Pond saw him, 
up he jumped, seized a carving-knife, and swore 
he would stab the first man that touched him. 
" Oh ! " said the trader, " I do not come to arrest 
you, but only to have a little fur gossip." " I do 
not believe you,f' cried Peter ; " the sooner you 
leave the room the better for you." The gentle- 
man took the hiiit. Pond also left the town, and 
was next heard i)f at Philadelphia. He died in 
poverty. His son was lately a blacksmith in 

Lower Canada.* 


* After this was copied from my notes, I found part in Mac- 
Tcenzie's "History of the Fur Trade;" but my information is 
derived as above, and ijs much fuller. 



The guests at the wine table ncv joined the 
ladies for cofiee, when one of the Miss M'Gill- 

vray called to Mr. M , and insisted upon his 

singing a wild voyageur song, " Le premier jour 
de Mai," playing the spirited tune on the piano at 
the same time with one hand. 

Thus commanded, Mr. M sang it as only 

the true voyageur can do, imitating the action of 
the paddle, and in their high, resounding, and yet 
musical tones. His practised voice enabled him 
to give us the various swells and falls of sounds 
upon the waters, driven about by the winds, dis- 
persed and softened in the wide expanses, or 
brought close again to the ear bv neio-hbourino- 
rocks. He finished, as is usual, with the piercing 
Indian shriek.* 

When this was over, and the lady had obeyed a 
call to the piano frankly and well, C^ntTeman 
asked IVIr. M'Gillvray what truth there was in the 
accounts of the dancing pheasants in the north- 
west, adding, that although he was at first incre- 
dulous, he could scarcely remain so after Mr. 
Gould's statements respecting the pastimes of the 
bower-bird of Australia. 

Here our friend Mr. Thompson said he had 
repeatedly stumbled upon what might be called a 
" pheasant's ball," among the glades on the east- 
* The words are in the Appendix, 

»g»aM»fa^i r - 'liU'T . 




em flanks of tie Rocky Mountains. In those 
grassy countries the almost noiseless tread of the 
horses' feet (unshod) sometimes is not noticed by 
the busy birds ; but the intruder must not be seen. 
" The pheasants choose a beech," said Mr. T. 
" for the dance, a tree with boughs, several on 
the same level, ind only fullieafed at their ends. 
The feathered spectators group around. Six or 
seven pheasants step on the trembling stage, and 
begin to stampL and prance, and twinkle their 
little feet like sol many Bayaderes, skipping with 
'balancez et chassez' from bough to bough; or they 
sit with curtsey and flutter, arching their glowing 
necks, and opening and closing their wings in 
concert ; but, in truth, the dance is indescribable, 
most singular, ahd laughable. When it has lasted 
ten minutes, a new set of performers step forward, 
and the exhibition may last a couple of hours."* 

• The following extract confirms in a remarkable manner this 
account of the pheasant dance. It is taken from Schomburgh's 
" Third Expedition iJito the Interior of Guiana," recently pub- 
lished in the "Journal of the Royal Geographical Society " (x. 235). 
" Not far," says Sir Eobert, "from a high peak, called Arapami, 
near the River Kundatiama, while traversing some mountains, we 
saw a number of that most beautiful bird, the cock of the rock, or 
rock manakin {Rupicola elegam), and I had an opportunity of wit- 
nessing some of its very singular antics, of which, though I had 
heard stories from the Indians, I had hitherto disbelieved them. 

" Hearing the twittering noise so peculiar to the rupicola, I 
cautiously stole near, with two of my guides, towards a spot 
secluded from the path, from four to five feet in diameter, and 




I confess to have been at the time greatly 
staggered by this story ; but we see it has been 
verified, as well as another as incredible, from the 
same gentleman. He told us that in the far north- 
west, near the Arctic circle, the ice forms over 
a river, and the water sometimes deserts its bed. 
There is a dry channel, with a high arch of rough 
ice overhead, tinted white, green, and earth- 
coloured, if the banks are lofty. He said he had 
travelled for the best part of a mile in such a 
tunnel, simply because it was the best road.* 

which appeared to have been cleared of every blade of grass, and 
smoothed as by human hands. 

" There we saw a cock of the rock capering to the apparent 
delight of several others ; now spreading its wings, throwing up its 
head, or opening its tail like a fan ; now strutting about, and 
scratching the ground, all accompanied by a hopping gait until 
tired, when it gabbled some kind of note, and another relieved him. 
Thus three of them successively took the field, and then with self- 
approbation withdrew to rest on one of the low branches near the 
scene of action. 

" We had counted ten cOcks and two hens of the party, when 
the crackling of some wood on which I had unfortunately placed 
my foot alarmed and dispersed this dancing company." 

My notes from Mr. Thompson were written some years before 
I. met with Sir R. Schomburgh's narrative. 

* " Journal of Royal Geographical Society of London," ix. 119. 

Baron Wrangel, while riding to the north of Yakutsk, in latitude 
65 , over a large river ; the ice suddenly giving way, he was thrown 
forwards and escaped, but his horse went under. He was lamenting 
the loss of his steed, when the Yakutskis, laughing, told him the 
horse wm not only safe but dry ; and eventually, when the ice was 
broken away, it was discovered that there was no water beneath, 




It is hardly liecessary to say that I passed 
a very agreeable evening. Our host was a 
large, handsom^ man, with the pleasant, suc- 
cessful look of tie men of his habits and mode 
of life. I hope that what entertained me will 
entertain others. 

The North-west Company of Fur-traders origin- 
ated in the year 1783, from the united stimulus of 
gain and adventure. It was scarcely possible to 
abstain from endeavouring to share in the appa- 
rently enormous profits of the Hudson's Bay 

Company. Furs 
sold in Montreal, 

from the north-west were daily 
at a profit of from 1000 to 2000 
per cent upon the prime cost among the Indians. 
It was eagerly believed that the Hudson's Bay 
charter did not include the vast extent of 
country then and now claimed by that Company, 
which, for all the grantors knew, might in truth 
have been salt water — a portion of the Pacific 
Ocean. i 

A number of young men, chiefly of good Scotch 
families, able, daijing, and somewhat reckless per- 
haps, formed themselves into a company in order to 
traffic in the forl^idden land in spite of the char- 

and that the animal was standing upon the perfectly dry bed of the 

Similar streams, somQ rather large, others fed only by superficial 
springs, are now not unknown to the Hudson's Bay Company ; and 
one has been mentioned by Sir John Richardson. 



ter. They neither wanted the necessary capital 
nor the requisite knowledge. 

Among these were M'Kenzie, Mactavish, Fro- 
bisher, M'Leod, Ilocheblave, and others — men 
who have become celebrated for their painful 
wanderings and perils extreme in search of furs. 
Their most prominent member, ]\Ir. M'Kenzie, 
was knighted — an honour which seemed to legalise 
their proceedings. 

They went boldly to, work. Close to each 
Hudson's Bay Company's fort they planted one 
of their own, to undersell and beard the old 
people. When disputes arose, as was sure to do, 
the partner of the new concern was always 
prompt to appeal to the pistol, making it a per- 
sonal afi'air. In fact, the quiet, inky-fingered 
clerk of the old Company, expecting only his 
poor salary, was no match for the fiery youth 
who worked on shares. 

Not only did the North-west Company dispute 
successfully the known hunting-grounds, but they 
pushed strong parties fur beyond, down the 
Eraser, Peace, Thompson, Columbia, and other 
rivers, even to the Arctic circle and the Russian 
dominions in America. 

The adventure was successful. Every year 
brought with it enlarged operations and acces- 
sion of capital. The early part of this century 

;. I 




found the No-th-west Company almost irre- 
sistible in Cankda— an extensive purchaser iu 
her markets, eipploying thousands of her popu- 
lation, and enriehing all connected with them. 

During the last war with the United States 
they sent into t le field three regiments of hardy 
voyageurs, of ^ight hundred or one thousand 
men each, and this at a time when the British 
Government required such countenance and 
succour. \ 

Every device |as used to stimulate their agents 
in the Indian coLitries to unusual exertions! A 
scale of ranks iind emoluments was introduced, 
—occasional furloughs granted to enable the 
successful to enjoy themselves. The celebrated 
Beaver Club of Montreal was established as a 
point of recreat on and of union, and where, I 
have been told, on certain great occasions the 
last plate put oiji the table before each member 
held a cheque fo| a sum of money. 

I noticed that j the members of the North-west 
Company were bften relatives. Tills arose, I 
doubt not, from the enticing descriptions which 
were sent into th^ Scottish Highlands, from time 
to time, of the ac^venturous life of the wilderness, 
of hunting and jvar, of alternate indolence and 
desperate toil, an^ lastly and particularly, of the 
acquisition of splendid fortunes. 



A first-rate Indian trader is no ordinary man. 
He is a soldier-merchant, and unites the gal- 
lantry of the one with the shrewdness of the 

Montreal was then the best place for seeing 
this class of persons, as St. Louis at the mouth of 
the Missouri is at present. What sailors are at 
seaports they are at these places. They spend 
fast, play all the freaks, pranks, and street- 
fooleries, and originate all the current whimsi- 
calities : but this is their brief holiday : when 
they turn their faces westward, up stream, their 
miinners change. i 

The Indian trader is a bold, square-chested, 
gaunt man, sun-burnt, with extraordinary long 
hair as a defence against mosquitoes. He is 
equally at home on horseback or in the canoe — 
indefatigable when needful, careless of heat and 
cold, and brave as steel, as though he bore a 
charmed life, in countries where the Queen's 
•writ scarcely runs, where the law only of per- 
sonal authority takes effect. Often he has not 
only to contend with the Indians, and to right 
himself on the spot with other traders, but he 
has to fight his own men hand to hand. Kind- 
ness, vigour, and sagacity, usually render but one 
such affair necessary. 

It had become evident in 1816, and before, 



that the compeltition of the two companies was 
injurious to all concerned, that their strife was 
devastating the fur countries, and that their 
mutual attacks (on one occasion sixteen Scotch- 
men and Englishmen were massacred) would be 
tolerated no loqger. They cannot have desired 
the continuation of such a state of things. An 
amalgamation therefore took place in 1821 ; and 
all has been pe^ce since that period, greatly to 
the benefit of ^11 parties, and most so to the 
Indians;— although it is true that these last are 
only the hunting-slaves of a company of whites 
in Leadenhall Street. 

At length the day of departure, tbe 20th of 
May, arrived. jTogether with a pleasant young 
clerk of the North-west Company I left Montreal 
in a long-eared calash,* drawn by two stout 
black horses, for the mouth of the river Ottawa, 
at the upper end of the island of Montreal— there 
to embark in tbe light canoe. 

The main business of the canoe in which I was 
granted a seat was to convey Mr. Rocheblave, a 

* It is like an EngUsh gig, but much stouter, the horse farther 
from the body of the carriage; and this aUows of room for the 
driver, whose seat rests on the footboard. Instead of doors, like 
our phaeton, it has high sides, for warmth and other reasons, 
rhe driver s seat and the board which supports it fall by means of 
tunges when the passengers get in, and the board and seat are 
then hooked up again to their place when the driver mounts 



partner in the North-west Company, and hig 
clerk, to Fort William, in Lake Superior; and 
M. Tabeau, a Roman Catholic priest, and my- 
self, to the Straits of St. Mary, the outlet of 
the above lake, and my furthest point on this 

We were soon at La Chine, and were trotting 
along the good road which skirts the shores of 
Lake St. Louis, when, to my great gratification, 
we had not gone far before we found the shore 
lined v/ith flat-bottomed boats filled with six 
companies of the 68th Light Infantry, on their 
way to Kingston in Canada West. 

Most of the officers were walking leisurely on 
tbe road, some of the juniors, however, standing 
erect on the stern-thwarts, pole in hand, making 
respectable proof of their river-craft. 

The ofl^cers' wives were in boats with awnings 
— sitting cool and happy, -while the soldiers, 
their baggage and womankind, crowded the other 

Inexperience in a strong opposing current is as 
bad as in taking a cross-country ride. So our 
friends found it, — especially in rounding a point, 
■when too often, in spite of clamorous warnings 
innumerable, the boat's head would be caught by 
the stream ; and away she would dart Quebec- 





wards, to the gte&t amusement of all but the 
principals concerned. 

Passing along an endless string of white cot- 
tages, with dome-shaped ovens, and primitive 
wells by their sides, we arrived at the pretty 
village of St. Clair, when another spectacle 
awaited us. For* some miles previously we had 
noticed that all the houses were shut up. This 
was now explained. 

A sudden turn in the road shewed us on a lono- 
low point, advancing into the lake, with a grove 
and a church at the end, drawn up before a laro-e 
wooden cross, a large procession in honour of 
Ascension Thursday. Foremost stood a body of 
stoled priests, v»|ith their acolytes dressed in 
white, with blue gashes, and behind them a pro- 
longed file, four deep, of neatly-dressed females, 
having among them a tall red banner; while 
their male friends stood behind in less orderly 
array, and looking wistfully at sky and water, as 
if their minds were elsewhere — perhaps in the 
young wheat-fields. I was surprised to find 
among these good men the same rustic style of 
dress as in Nornniandy — the same short-waisted 
blue coat and bras|s buttons, the immense flapping 
shirt collars, and the same high and heavy 
broad-brimmed hat. 


The scene was beautiful, and called out many 
thoughts, both as a Christian and a lover of the 
picturesque. It would have just suited Peter de 
Wint — full of quiet heavy masses of foliage, 
black in the outstretching shadows of a declining 
sun, but cheered by the pilgrim group, their 
banner, the church, and the wide waters spark- 
ling from afar. 

We jogged on nine more miles, past St. Anne's, 
celebrated by the poet, to Chateau-brillant, a 
small fort, venerable in ruins, overlooking from a 
mound the Narrows at the mouth of the Ottawa. 
It is overgrown with ivy and young trees, and 
was once meant to overawe the neighbourinjj 
Indians. I 

The only quickset-hedge I ever saw in Canada 
occurs on the little farm close to this ruin. 

Our voyageurs were to have awaited us at 
Chateau-brillant ; but, save for our own shouts, all 
was still among its shadows. Returning a couple 
of miles, we found them at Forbes' Tavern ; and 
they said, forsooth, that as good Catholics they 
could not but stay to assist in the holy procession 
at St. Clair. 

I was now introduced to our leader, M. Roche- 
blave, a senior partner of the North-west Com- 
pany, a tall dark Frenchman, with a stoop, born 
at New Orleans. I found him well informed, 

VOL. I. K 



obliging, and colmpanionable. He would haye 
been more so during the first few days of our 
voyage, but he had been only very recently 

Let me not forget M. Tabeau, the cure of 
Boucherville, a stout, rosy, happy-looking priest 
of middle age, of unaffected and even polished 
manners, fond of music, and reasonably so of good 
living. He was (and I hope still lives) a good 
man, and had nothing of the livid complexion 
and gloomy pugnacity of many of the Roman 
Catholic clergy in England. 

I have already mentioned Mr. Robinson, the 
clerk. At once JI felt that I was fortunate in my 
companions, and took my seat in the canoe at 
Forbes' Tavern, pot a little excited by my new 
position, and by the romance (to me at least) of 
ascending almost to the source of the lovely and 
beautiful Ottawaj 

It may be well here to premise that the Ottawa 
is throughout, and in many points of view, an 
interesting river. It is always very broad — 
from half a mile to two miles — and five hundred 
or more miles long; for Lake Tematscaming is 
not its source, bi^t only an expansion. It is not 
so much a rivei* in the English sense of the 
word, as a chain of lakes, or long sheets of quiet 
■water, twenty, thirty, and sixty miles in length 



each, connected by narrows and rapids, by which 
the river forces its way through high and rocky 
lands in a series of cascades and foaming cur- 

The countries adjacent will soon be the seat of 
a thriving population, for they seem for the most 
paft fertile — fit for either pasturage or arable. 
Clearances on the Ottawa are now found two 
hundred miles above Montreal, and they are 
multiplying. Mr. Sheriff reports that the region 
between Lake Nipissing and the upper part of 
the Ottawa is a well-timbered high table-land, 
inviting the labours of the poor but diligent 
settler. The Ottawa has long been the chief 
resort of the lumberer, who supplies England 
with great quantities of pine. Nowhere have I 
seen such lofty and large firs as on the Ottawa. 

Our canoe was thirty-six feet long, sharp at 
each end, six feet wide in the middle, and made 
of birch bark, in sheets sewn together with vege- 
table fibre, and the seams gummed up close. 
The sides are strengthened and steadied by four 
or six cross-bars lashed to the rim of the canoe, 
and the inside is protected by slender ribs of a 
light wood, but the bottom only by a kw loose 
poles. It is called a light canoe, or " canot 
l&che," because intended to go swiftly, and to 
carry only provisions and personal baggage. Its 



usual complement is nineteen — that is, fifteen 
paddlemen and four gentlemen passengers; the 
latter sitting each on his roUed-up bed in the 
middle compartment. 

The North-west Company provided munitions 
de houche on the most liberal scale — port, ma- 
deira, shrub, bifandy, rum, sausages, eggs, a huge 
pie of veal and pheasants, cold roast beef, salt 
beef, hams, tongues, loaves, tea, sugar, and, to 
crown all, some exquisite beaver tail. The men 
were provided well in a plainer way, and had 
their glass of nim in cold and rainy weather. 

I was disappointed and not a little surprised 
at the appearance of the voyageurs. On Sun- 
days, as they Sitand round the door of the village 
are proud dressy fellows in their 
sashes and ostrich-feathers ; but 
here they were a motley set to the eye : but the 
truth was that all of them were picked men, with 
extra wages as serving in a light canoe. 

Some were well made, but all looked weak in 
the legs, and were of light weight. A Falstaff 
would have put his foot through the canoe to the 
" yellow sands" beneath. The collection of faces 
among them chanced to be extraordinary, as 
they squatted, paddle in hand, in two rows, each 
on his slender bag of necessaries. By the bye, all 
their finery (and they love it) was left at home. 

churches, they 



One man's face, with a large Jewish nose, seemed 
to have been squeezed in a vice, or to have passed 
through a flattening machine. It was like a 
cheese-cutter — all edge. Another had one nostril 
bitten off. He proved the buffoon of the "party. 
He had the extraordinary faculty of untying the 
strings of his face, as it were, at pleasure, when 
his features fell into confusion — into a crazed 
chaos almost frightful ; his eye, too, lost its usual 
significance : but no man's countenance (barring 
the bite) was fuller of fun and fancies than his, 
when he liked. A third man had his features 
wrenched to the right — exceedingly little, it is 
true ; but the effect was remarkable. He had 
been slapped on the face by a grisly bear. 
Another was a short, paunchy old man, with vast 
features, but no forehead — the last man I should 
have selected ; but he was a hard-working crea- 
ture, usually called " Passe-partout," because he 
had been everywhere, and was famous for the 
weight of fish he could devour at a meal. He 
knew the flavour of the fish of each great lake, 
just as the man who had been ordered by Boer- 
haave to live on broth made of grass came to 
know the field from whence it was taken. 
Except the younger men, their faces were short, 
thin, quick in their expression, and mapped out 
in furrows, like those of the sunday-less Parisians. 



usual complement is nineteen — that is, fifteen 
paddlemen and four gentlemen passengers ; the 
latter sitting each on his rolled-up bed in the 
middle compartment. 

The North-'ffest Company provided munitions 
de louche on 1)he most liberal scale — port, ma- 
deira, shrub, b(-andy, rum, sausages, eggs, a huge 
pie of veal and pheasants, cold roast beef, salt 
beef, hams, tongues, loaves, tea, sugar, and, to 
crown all, some exquisite beaver tail. The men 
were provided well in a plainer way, and had 
their glass of mm in cold and rainy weather. 

I was disap])ointed and not a little surprised 
at the appearance of the voyageurs. On Sun- 
days, as they ^tand round the door of the village 
churches, they are proud dressy fellows in their 
parti-coloured sashes and ostrich-feathers ; but 
here they werft a motley set to the eye : but the 
truth was that all of them were picked men, with 
extra wages as serving in a light canoe. 

Some were well made, but all looked weak in 
the legs, and were of light weight. A Falstaff 
would have put his foot through the canoe to the 
" yellow sands" beneath. The collection of faces 
among them chanced to be extraordinary, as 
they squatted, paddle in hand, in two rows, each 
on his slender bag of necessaries. By the bye, all 
their finery (and they love it) was left at home. 



One man's face, with a large Jewish nose, seemed 
to have been squeezed in a vice, or to have passed 
through a flattening machine. It was like a 
cheese-cutter — all edge. Another had one nostril 
bitten off. He proved the buffoon of the 'party. 
He had the extraordinary faculty of untying the 
strings of his face, as it were, at pleasure, when 
his features fell into confusion — into a crazed 
chaos almost frightful ; his eye, too, lost its usual 
significance : but no man's countenance (barring 
the bite) was fuller of fun and fancies than his, 
when he liked. A third man had his features 
wrenched to the right — exceedingly little, it is 
true ; but the effect was remarkable. He had 
been slapped on the face by a grisly bear. 
Another was a short, paunchy old man, with vast 
features, but no forehead — the last man I should 
have selected ; but he was a hard-working crea- 
ture, usually called " Passe-partout," because he 
had been everywhere, and was famous for the 
weight of fish he could devour at a meal. He 
knew the flavour of the fish of each great lake, 
just as the man who had been ordered by Boer- 
baave to live on broth made of grass came to 
know the field from whence it was taken. 
Except the younger men, their faces were short, 
thin, quick in their expression, and mapped out 
in furrows, like those of the sunday-less Parisians. 





Nothing could exceed their respectful and oblig- 
ing behaviour. The same must be said of all of 
this class withi whom I had anything to do. 
Their occupation is now gone — gone for them 
the hot chase of the buffalo, the fishing-spear, 
and echoing cljffs of Lake Huron. I look upon 
them with the pame mysterious awe and regret 
as I should do oin the last Dodo or Dinornis, the 
ultimate vestigCs of a lost race. Our worthy 
priest, M. Tabeau, while on shore, shook every 
voyageur by the hand kindly, and had a pleasant 
word for each. We then embarked at thirtj 
minutes past thijee p. m. 

As soon as wb were well settled down in our 
places, and the (fanoe began to feel the paddles, 
Mr. Tabeau, by way of asking a blessing on the 
voyage, pulled (j)ff his hat, and sounded forth a 
Latin invocation to the Deity, and to a long train 
of male and female saints, in a loud and full voice, 
while all the men, at the end of each versicle, 
made response, '| Qu'il me Itnisse." 

This done, hd called for a song; and many 
were gleefully carolled — each verse in solo, and 
then repeated in chorus, north-west fashion. Of 
such use is singing, in enabling the men to work 
eighteen and nineteen hours a-day (at a pinch), 
through forests and across great bays, that a good 
singer has additional pay. The songs are sung 



with might and main, at the top of the voice, 
timed to the paddle, which makes about fifty 
strokes in a minute. While nearing habitations, 
crossing sheets of water, and during rain, the song 
is loud and long. The airs I suppose to be an- 
cient French. They are often very beautiful. 
Now and then the words are evidently Cana- 
dian, like the one which commemorates the 
death of a voyageur at the Falls of La Montagne 
(where we shall soon be), or that in which 
the lover entreats the lady to fly with him and 
hide among the wild and verdant isles of the 


The current, as we ascended the Ottawa (open, 
or spotted with islets, by turns), from Forbes' Ta- 
vern, was strong against us; but in an hour and 
a half we arrived at the pretty Indian village of 
the Lake of the Two Mountains, which straggles 
over and about a sort of green, with mounts of sand 
behind, overhung with woody hills. The Nipis- 
sing, or Witch Indians, inhabit the left half of the 
village, in neat, painted houses (so they looked 
at a distance) ; but the other half, belonging to 
the Iroquois, seemed desolate and neglected. I 
suppose they were still at their winter hunting- 
grounds. As we skirted close past the church, 
which is near the water-side and in the centre of 
the village, we saw sitting on a gravestone, under 






a lofty elm, the L priest Humbert.* with his 
large serious featu^-es, in cassock and sombrero. 
Smgular^ to say, ^r. Bartlett, in his '« Canadian 

' bcenery, W given us the self-same picture, taken 
some years after my visit. 

At the further er,d of the village we delivered 
a bag of silver money to a trader of the place 
There gathered nea^ us a group of dark, hand- 
some, gipsy-like Mn, wrapped in blankets with 
scarlet borders; filthy, ugly women; and frolic- 
some children, all peaceable, and pleased fo ^aze 
upon us The strajge, uucouth spot, the bandit 
faces and dresses, i^ade me think I was at the 
world s end. 

Haifa mile abov^ this village, we encamped 
for he n,ght m a w(^d of tall beeches and elms. 

rhe gentlemen occupied one small square tent 
of thm canvass, pitchbd by their own hands, as the 
custom is. We soon had a roaring fire, took 
tea, and lay down to sleep, 

" LnUed by the sound of far-off torrents, 
Charming the still night. " 

My bed, a blanket Led four times, was near 

he entrance of the tent. As I lay, I could see 

the gleam of the rippling waters hard by; and 

* His brother, General nLbert, commanded the PrPn.K • 
their myasion of Ireland, in li98. ** "* 



the stars of a lovely summer's night were among 
the tree-tops. The voyageurs were asleep in their 
blankets around the fire ; one alone was up and 
about, on watch, and cooking their next day's 
soup. Baggage lay strewn in all directions. 

We heard at a little after two in the morning, 
while yet dark, the loud and startling shout of 
*' Alerte !" and in a few minutes we were afloat 
on the broad bosom of the river, here called the 
Lake of the Two Mountains, twenty miles long, 
and reaching to Point Fortune, at the foot of the 
Long Sault Rapids, of which we spoke in our last 

We breakfasted some distance higher than 
Point Fortune. While thus comfortably engaged, 
some men in great haste came and inquired if we 
had seen some timber rafts driving down the 
stream. Truly had we — in the boiling rapids, 
both above and below us, dashing along at a pro- 
digious rate, and sure to be broken to pieces on 
the rocks. They had escaped from their fasten- 
ings, while the men were at a tavern three miles 
higher up. 

Our canoe now crossed to the east side of the 
river and landed her gentlemen, in order the 
better " to force" the rapids, which are long and 
strong, and particularly violent at a bend where 
six Iroquois had been drowned a few days before, 


'/ ' 




I' r 

It. L 
If f 



by the breaking p{ their tow-rope. The river 
being this season ^ight feet above its usual level 
the rapids were unusually vehement, and in 
places, the woods around were flooded. 

We walked the nine miles to the head of the 
Long Sault Rapidg through swamps and woods, 
lo avoid wading, Mr. Robinson and myself struck 
deep into the forest, lost ourselves, and wandered 
about uneasily, until we came upon a decent log- 
house m a small clearance (township of Grenville) 
After some rapping, the door was opened by a 
very handsome tall young woman, with auburn 
bair tidily dressed. I inquired our way. She 
shook her head without a smile. In great sur- 
pris«-for she lookecj British all over-I addressed 
her m French; butj I only got another shake of 
the head when heit brother appeared, and told 
us that they were Highlanders, and that his sister 
could only speak Gaelic. He put us in the right 
way for the head of the rapids. These people 
were dissatisfied, and longed for the hills of Blair 
Athol-almost the only instance I ever met with. 
We regained the ' 

Hamilton Mills, and 

river Ottawa opposite the 

M-MHi ' ^'"'"'* ""'■ ^"^"^^ «* Major 

MMillans, a considerable landowner, waiting 
for the canoe.* One of the Major's children had 

campment, a few hundred yards below Major M'Millan',, of twj 



swallowed a halfpenny : I sent down after it some 
rhubarb and dry bread, but I could not wait the 
effect. We soon afterwards embarked, and made 
a quick and merry dinner on the grass, half a 
mile above the Major's, and paddled up the splen- 
did sheet of water, sixty miles long, which leads 
to the falls of the Rideau and Chaudiere, to the 
village of Hull, and now to the far more impor- 
tant place, Bytown. 

Since I made this canoe voyage, the country 
has been much settled, and one or two steamboats 


companies of the Staff Corps, then constructing the GrenviUe Canal, 
to avoid the Long Sault Rapids. I passed the day in geologising, 
and the everung in lUtening to the guitars of two accomplished sis- 
ters, Sicilians, who had married officers of this corps. 

I was the happy guest of Col. Robe, then a studious and zealous 
Ueutenant in this useful regiment. I wish I had time to describe 
the primitive kraal-Uke huts of the officers, and other droU make- 
shifts of the wilderness. 

Col. Robe was so enthusiastic a geologist, that in mid-winter he 
went from Montreal to Lanark on the Ottawa (100 to 120 miles), 
on my information, to secure some bones found there in a Umestone 
cave in the woods. But they proved to belong to an unfortunate 
deer who had slipped in by accident ; and we lost a Canadian gay. 

The Staff Corps was here, I think, two summers. One day 
Major Rochfort Scott (author of " Travels in Candia and Spain"), 
then a gallant young sub, made a dash into the melancholy woods, 
which began at the back of his tent and extended to the Arctic 
circle. Taking with him a soldier, he went almost due north for 
eighty miles, across rivers, morasses, woods, rocks, and hills, and 
skirting the lakes. He was many days out, and returned when his 
provisions failed. He found a large deposit of plumbago. 


i I 





|a petite nation. 

navigate this lai^e. as we may call it ^ w . 
at the time I aiJ «n.oi.- / ' "^^'^y' ^»t 

"e.e covered „rC^r""'-""^"»*, 
'"* a fe,..i,e It '"' """'T"'™ 

"'■■e rare. The, were 'a Ii„ • *'" °' ™" 
"■an and a sWl i„ J ' " •"''''8""'' «"■ a 

'''»>.". of a'tm:'j:r:it7'"*--r 

«ands before iwl °'''''" »«"■""• A pact 

«■- from; and ^ei':''''™'''''" <>-- 
«antily.elad femalfr ' '""' '"' " ""■■. 
'"earn' Pi/rS .""T """''' "'o «■» 

«™p». with a li.l ah " r*:' T"' "'■ 
Are «nes f™ Han,iU„„ M, , a. „ " '"""'^- 
arrived at La PelitlNa,;. ' ""• "■• « 


»i."M. and in" :: ^ C p! • "" ''"' '" "■' 
"«• He was a dark oliok ' ! " '"? "'I" 

looted nose aT hi l^^ °"°' "'"' » '"■•« 
good pnr.e,ing of/i.T, ""' '«"''™"' <■?«.= 

^ only inducement to join us. 

AMERICAN settler. 


The next day we were off by three a.m. (May 
22), and in the course of the day passed over 
thirty miles of broad waters buried in dense fo- 
rests. Just before we landed to dine, near the 
house of an American farmer, we overtook five 
loaded canoes of the North-west Company, with 
sixty men. As soon as they were in sight we 
began to sing, and when abreast there was a 
lively exchange of travellers' wit between the 
parties. While we were at dinner our friends 
passed us, and sang most sweetly, with a full 
chorus of all the crews — distance softenins down 
any occasional harsh note from a novice. 

The American had been at this large clearance 
some years. He had cows and horses, and no 
small substance. I saw five or six stout fellows 
about the premises, and some hearty girls — 
" Madges of the milking-pail." The mother 
chattered fast to us during our meal, and wished 
to buy our broken victuals, although they seemed 
in good case. Mr. Rocheblave gave them some. 

I was sorry to see an idiot boy, fifteen years 
old, going about with literally nothing on him 
but a very dirty calico shirt. 

The land around had been slowly rising from 
our dining-place ; and at six or eight miles from 
thence we came to a bend of the river to the right 







(east). This, of 


, , , . - P"'-««' ^e followed, and soon 

beheld an uncommon landscape 

We were at the lower end of a reach two miles' 

Kideau Fall leaps into the Ottawa in two massy 
sheets of water, frL a height of sixty feer and 
about a hundred Jards apart. The/arfof „n' 
equa sue : the larger perhaps three hundred feet 
broad the smaller one hundred feet-the lar "r 
^ bang guarded by a high precipice crowed 
^^thpmes. An if „d divides them. The en 
Tirons m almost ev^ry direction are covered with 
great pmes, stripped, blackened with fire and 
pomtmg, needle-lik^, far into the sky. The ex 
' i"™f f ^^°- b^^f the Falls, and to the north" 

v.ble to us on the river, rose into uplands and 
hills, also covered with fired pines 

Such was this scjne in J821, when man had 
only begun h,s changes. Bytown has been built 
-cenearthesefall^; gigantic locks and a et 

aXr. ".^'"^^°^*- ^^-tpartofthl 
traffic between Montreal and the upper country 
was expected to pas^ through these works ; b I 
this route has been neglected since the St. Law 

rence Canal has.bee^ finished; the latter bein. 
the shorter and mor^ economical line of trans! 
Port. The Rideau Canal will be of little use 



except during war. This interesting landscape 
now wears another kind of beauty, which has 
been exquisitely well transferred to paper by Mr. 

Continuing our course up the reach, delighted 
with the high and often rocky scenery, a strong 
back-water eddy drove us up a narrow pass among 
cliffs, bare but for young firs in the clefts. Three 
openings now presented themselves ; the most 
distant one, to our left, displayed a broad half- 
rapid, half-cascade, sweeping down among islets 
of pines. The middle passage seemed very narrow, 
mural, and conveyed away in a state of creamy 
foam the waters of the Kettle Fall (the Chau- 
diere proper), while the near or right passage, in 
which our canoe was dancing, led by a winding 
route to a rocky cove, where we landed for the 
portage, usually two hundred yards long. 

While on these turbulent waters, we were sur- 
prised to find ourselves amid a complete armada 
of large canoes (twenty-two), belonging to the 
North-west Company ; and ten or twelve la- 
bouring in the billows belonging to the Iroquois 
of the Village of the Two Mountains, on their 
return from the winter hunt, with their families, 
furs, dogs, &c. Being very fond of finery, most 
of them were gaudily dressed in scarlet coats, 
broad silver hatbands, and fringed leggings. The 



greater number vere tipsy, especially one, who 
rolled rather than walked down a steep footpath 
very drunk, loaded with furs, and nearlv threw 
me into the river. The.clamour, jargonings, and 
confusion, ub on all sides in this mixed and 
impetuous multiti^de, cannot be described 

When we had mounted the landing-place we 
stood on a platform of naked rock. On our right 
on slightly rising ground, and backed by woods' 
was the village of Hull-half-a-dozen good houses 
and stores, a handsome Episcopal church.* and 
many inferior buildings. Before us was the 
river, nearly a mil, broad, and sweeping through 
the forests in strong rapids towards the Falls One 
hundred yards on our left was the Kettle Fall 
with the disappointing look of a mill-dam, and a' 
fall of thirty feet. A long and severe thander- 

thp*n ^l°V^" '='^«<=h-tow|r I looked over the whole region around • 

Northward T ''l' T^*'""'^^'' ^ ''''"' °^ waterf and woods! 
Northwards and eastward. Mr. Wright's farms are close about us 

and then the forests. Mr. Willis (Bartlett's " Canadian Scenel-; 

says the h^lls behind Hull are 900 feet high. I doubt twf In 

the d,rect.on of Bytown .^ere a. extensile clearanL^ frl t ; 

great populahon assembled there for commercial purposed 

W col. Robe made a chaming sketch from this tower during 

tbT :tT'' "^"^ ^'''^ ^'"^ *" *>^« •>«?-' of Tn o"^ 
aus neighbourhood. The sketch I gave to the present exceUeit 
British Consul of New Yniv Ti,; • j . ciceuent 



storm prevented me from examining it properly, 
I saw the forked lightning strike a pine-stump 
fifty yards off. So greatly increased was the flood 
on the river since the day before, that we were 
delayed here three or four hours, and had to make 
two portages. 

One description of the voyageurs method of 
passing a portage will suffice. The whole cargo 
is distributed into loads of 951bs. weight each. 
No single article is allowed to weigh more. Of 
these each voyageur takes one, two, or three at 
once lo the further end of the portage, if it be not 
too long, and at a slow trot, with the knees much 
bent, stopping for a few minutes every half hour, 
this rest being technically called a pipe. The 
load is made to rest upon the head and shoulders 
by means of a broad strap, which passes over the 
forehead. The canoe is carried most tenderly on 
the naked shoulders of six men, and is pushed, 
cushioned on beds, up ledges and precipices. The 
gentlemen carry their own small articles, and any 
others which may come to hand, such as poles, 
paddles, or kettle, &c. One of us lost the lid 
of our kettle, whereby we suffered more incon- 
venience than can be readily conceived. The 
road is usually as bad as possible, over fallen 
trees, slippery rocks and rivulets, through 
marshes and dense woods. 

VOL. I, 





At seven p.m. Ve made our final start from 
Hull,* and were to^ed up some temporary rapids 
for a couple of hou|-s, so close to the bank as to 
be brushed by the Ullage, when we encamped for 
the night in a littl^ glade. 

Here we found waiting' for the morn seven 

* Mr. Philemon Wright came here in 1806. He is a Lov.Ilsf 
from the United States. a|d brought with him ca"U ie^ td 

cZl: 7 ' ""''^^- "^ ^^ (°^ --) « P^- "ttle ml i^ 
constant mot,on teaching tod being taught-a true pioneer, an eZ 

thus,ast.nrecla,mmgand^ultivatingwadland. He has pe^onX 
brought overfrom Englanf the finest rams, bull., oxen. cor2 

in h,s own hands m the rea^ on the river Gatineau. and has a raXr 

art of Hull He was so good as to shew me the tree under which 
he lept on the mght of his ^rival. I felt that the tree was memo- 

steihT ' T" ""'''• "' *"" ' ^^ '« *^^ P— e of a con. 
SHlerable m.nd ; not perhaps able to figure in a bk-room. but abte 
o gather and nounsh a happy population. The schoowtr of 
the place was h,s factotun^. a quiet shrewd person, of like eLL 
agncultural impulses with Mr. Wright. They pa^^ed o^^^teT 

o her fro^ Government, ioth master and man lived in a worU 
of the. own-not in the present, but in a great future. mZ a 
^me at nudn,ght have I pas^d their little window (without a bZl) 
and saw them one poo. candle, compass and pencil at ha^d 
ponng ab tractedly over a MS. map. elbows on tTble, a^dtet 
heads firmly clasped in theiJ palms; the fire extinct in the stovT 
most probably, in that intensely cold cUmate. ' 

Mr. Wright has an excellent house at Hull wherp h^ =„J i,- 
I.^e household li. plainly, and plentifully"" '^^^I "Tnt tt' 
w.thhm> We had also beefsteaks and cold boiled peas: but I 

f:^;?Ph7aVeSr^ "^°"™°"^ " °"^ " *^ '-' ^-- 



loaded canoes and eighty voyageurs belonging to 
the Hudson's Bay Company. Our leader warned 
his men against quarrelling with their neighbours. 

It was an uncouth scene. There was a semi- 
circle of canoes turned over on the grass to sleep 
under, with blazing fires near them, surrounded 
by sinister- looking, long-haired men, in blanket 
coats, and ostrich feathers in their hats, smoking 
and cooking, and feeding the fires. I parti- 
cularly noticed one large square man, squat on 
the wet ground, with a bit of looking-glass in his 
hand, intently watching his wife, as she carefully- 
combed out his long jetty hair, undisturbed by a 
sharp rain, which the powerful fire did not permit 
to penetrate. | 

May 23d. The weather has changed : it is 
very cold, and will snow. 

We set ofi" in the dark at three a.m. I had the 
agreeable addition, to the usual comforts of these 
expeditions, of stepping nearly knee-deep into 
the water (iced in the north), a stone from which 
I was stepping into the canoe having unkindly 
rolled over. My hat was also soon afterwards 
knocked overboard by a paddle, and restored io 
me full of water. 

Daylight found us on the Chaudiere Lake, 
thirty miles long, and varying in breadth from 
one to two miles, turning westwards at its upper 




i' ti 



end, and filling with population. The banks 
richly wooded, were often high, and faced with 
httle beaches of yellow sand. A mile from the 
north shore a range of hills presented them- 

At nine a.m. we, breakfasted among the rank 
grass of a deserted clearance. It being Sunday, 
Mr. Tabeau had the tent set up ; and he dressed 
an altar within it with crucifix and candles, little 
pictures, and clean linen cloth. With his singing- 
boy and bell he performed a religious service, all 
the voyaffeurs kneeliflg round the tent door with 
?;reat seriousness. I was glad to see this. Roman 
Catholic light is infinitely better than unbelieving 
darkness. One thifig struck me at the time; 
that while the common run of Protestants seem' 
ashamed of the simple but sublime and comfort- 
able truths found in the Bible only, the various 
superstitions are openly and proudly confessed 
begmning with Mariology, and ending with 
African Fetishism. 

Leaving this, and paddling along on the south " 
side of the lake, we not long afterwards arrived 
withm two miles of tlie splendid Falls of the Chat 
Saving always the Falls of Niagara, we had be- 
fore us, in the exaggerated state of the river, the 

finest burst of waters 

I have seen in America. 

We were at the ajJex of a triangular sheet of 



water. Before us, a couple of miles off", was a 
base-line half a league long, and for the most part 
occupied by a massy, voluminous cataract, forty 
and sixty feet high in portions, rushing down 
into a lower country through the intervals of piny 
islets ; the remainder of this base-line on the east 
being a barrier of rocks and trees, with two small 
impetuous falls at the very end, forcing a devious 
passage through thick foliage. 

Mr. Bartlett has not done justice to the main 
cataract; but I doubt not the spring-floods added 
greatly at this time to the magnificence of the 
spectacle. The River Ottawa, like all streams 
from the north, is liable to freshets from the rapid 
melting of snow. 

The billowy tumult of the widened stream con- 
tinues for some distance below the principal 
cataract ; but our skilful steersman conducted us 
(dangerous as it appeared) delightfully across it, 
his men answering his signals of hand and eye as 
prompt as thought. We soon landed at the por- 
tage, at the foot of the smaller falls, so well deli- 
neated by Bartlett. I 

Here, screened by huge masses of rock and by 
coppice, we found an Indian hut filled with men, 
squaws, and children, all astonishingly dirty, — and 
with such long, filthy finger-nails ! It was a scene 
of noise and confusion seldom equalled ; cascades 






1 ill 



thundering, voya^eurs toiling, children screaming, 
ladies (!) begging, and dogs barking 

We soon clambered up the rugged height before 
«s, the men pushing up the canoe, stage by stage 
supported on our beds. » j g , 

But now began ^me very nervous work for 
two hours. The rivir was so swollen and furious 
overleapmg its banl^s into the adjacent woods,' 
that previous experiei^ce was at fault. We placed 
the loaded canoe in the water some yards above 
one of the two narro^v falls, and had pushed off 
when to our dismay^ in spite of every effort, we 
found that we were being sucked into the cataract. 
I shall never forget the fright, nor the eagerness 
with which we soo« clutched at some willow 
boughs, and were sav^d. Two Indians had been 
drowned that week Mar the same spot 

We could not ventuf-e on the river itself, full of 
^ets there; its current was above our strength. ' 
We therefore crept with exceeding slowness 
through the woods bj temporary channels, and 
crossing basins when fevoured by eddies. Great 
was the skill and coolness of our men, ill-favoured 
little folk as some of them were. In a moment 
we shot across one very dangerous pass, all hands 
clinging to the trees for safety. 

At length we reached something like stUl water 
to the great content 6f all ; not excepting ou; 



worthy priest, who had been perpetually catching 
at trees, and vociferating, " Hauw ! hauw ! " an 
Indian equivalent to our own energetic " Go it ! 
go it!" . 

Reaching an inundated island, composed of fine 
white marble, we dined. The men dried them- 
selves, had their glass of rum, myself one of port, 
and all was cheery again. At this place we found 
two Hudson's Bay canoes repairing damages. 
This is chiefly done by patching with birch bark, 
and caulkina; with gum from a certain kind of fir 
found throughout North America, which softens 
under heat, hardens in contact with water, and 
adheres with great force to birch bark. 

The Hudson's Bay people went off first ; but 
we soon overtook them, singing as we drew near, 
when a race began, which after a short contest we 
won, as we were light. M. Rocheblave, waking 
up out of an after-dinner dream at the shout of 
victory, was not pleased. 

We had now entered Lake Chat, sixteen miles 
long by one or two broad (Mr. Sheriff), and 
coasted its southern shore crowded with trees. 
We saw some scanty openings in the woods. Not 
long after, the Chief Macnab with some of his 
clan established themselves here. 

Here and there, especially on the north side of 
the lake, small fertile islands are scattered. 





My information resnppf.-nn. *i.- i , 

santly ; our heads were unrfZ i "''^'- 

'•" P-e„. beta, Zr ;„ tt rr""; 

M his rashness • h... I , "" ' »™<icred 

w >oe.s;:e^;:;Lrat7s*d r' °"' "' ^■•' 

-d that he s,oJZX rl 7" "'™' 

the same. ° ' ""' °"'='-» '"d done 

Towards eveninff »« be™„ , 

™pidsof.heRioheHeJ(:Xchr"°°^ "» 
-"eslong, rhe,are:Lj;?fcre:?''°"' 
ing at times narrow .Lii "' ""^ "'er becom- 
At their rSllZ: "• ""'' <■"" of W»"<1». 

i"'o the war .ost"'.!"'" '"""° "''"'" '- 


We avoided the greatest v' i 
;apids by creepi^^elos^th s tX/. ^'^^^ 
fallen pines, overhanging oaks , / V '"^ 

Sometimes, however, wf were Ob- w ''"• 

tow-rope. °^^'S^^<^ to "se the 



Our course, however, was not always so harass- 
ing, for sometimes the flood overspread low lands, 
and the current moderated. It was very new to 
me to float in the twilight of thick woods, among 
their gnarled and huge trunks, their foliage 
drooping and drenched, with these half-naked 
men of shaggy locks, carolling with boundless 
gaiety. It is not often that we see in Canada 
such large bowls and grotesquely twisted boughs 
as are found' here. | 

I could not but admire the great diversity in 
colour and form of the trees of these romantic 
spots. There were cedar, oak, birch, and beech, 
with pines on the higher grounds ; — the last often 
blasted by lightning in single trees, or fired by 
Indians in large tracts : more usually, however, 
the pine stood erect, flinging its rough limbs deep 
into the sombre forest. The birch and trembling 
poplar commonly adorned the foot of a precipice, 
with pale grey or light green leaves, of a delicacy 
of tint contrasting finely with the dark masses 

The interior of the country seemed to consist 
of short hills almost bare, from 400 to 500 feet 
high, standing in morasses, meadows, or lakes. 
White marble and sienite are the prevailing rocks 
for miles. 

Five miles above these rude scenes brought us 

! ■ 111 






f!l f: °' "* *'°""'8°^- A W% ridge Ind 
fo lowed , he co„n.e of ,he a mL.yJt 

re""- ::*:„? °" t '°°" ■"""«• -" - - 

™'. All this ne gbbourbood fs mosl picturesou. 
ad p„^„e, pi„„a, geological LrT^l^, 

tZ r "' '"°" "^''^"''^ "^ '-'t" sketch- 
mg or fakmg; notes at the moment 

gi ;:it' t 'T "■""■ """" ^"^ " 

marble, forms the northeast side of the 
mer, IS traversed Terticall, by several ror Z \ 
l.-d bUcU stripesiofan bo'rnLJe rL'r*"^ 
looks hke a vast banging sheet of striped olr„ 

ioud and tumultuous. ^ 

We reached the foot of the bv 
dash.g athwart sooae dangerous-looki'/ rlidj 

mends -a brigade of loaded canoes being then 

engaged in passing over the rough little hm 
fonning the portage, and 385 paces across. 



Although at that moment the rain had changed 
into a heavy snow (May 23), and the whole land- 
scape was fast turning white, there stood watch- 
ing his men on a jutting rock a handsome young 
Scotchman, evidently fresh from the Highlands, 
his face glowing with the animation, novelty, and 
wildness tof the scene. He was quite a picture, 
as he leaned on his fowling-piece, in a strong 
shooting-dress and Caledonian " maud," his broad 
bonnet hanging jauntily over his left ear. 

This is the scene of one of the most beautiful 
of the Canadian boat-songs. I have heard it 
repeatedly, but did not take it down. It is sup- 
posed to have been found inscribed on the bark 
of a birch-tree a little above the Falls. This is its 
argument, as the poets would say. A canoe 
laden with furs is waylaid by hostile Indians, who 
are discovered crowding both banks of the river, 
at a bend where both falls and portage come in 
sight together. In their consternation the voya- 
geurs appeal to the mild Mary, the Virgin Mother, 
who immediately appears to them in a rainbow 
amid the spray of the cataract, and beckons them 
onwards— to leap the fall. They obey, rush into 
the gulf, and are saved from torture and death. 
One unhappy man had just left the canoe : he 
saw the whole, but dared not shew himself. 

I ■■■-I — ^ji 




Sometime afterwards he was found dead at the 
loot or the mscripiioii. 

The interval of Eighteen miles between this port- 
age and the next, the Grand Calumet, is very 
intricate. It is full of islands and rapids, thread- 
ing an assemblage of hills. All the rock I saw is 
so is the hilly portage of the 

white marble, and 

"V pui uige 01 tfte 

Grand Caumet, one mile and a quarter across. 
I here ,s a form.dab e rapid at the foot of this car- 
rying place, and one or more booms to catch 
stray timber. 

The cold rain afld snow were so heavy that I 
took but little notice of anything from hence to 
Fort Coulanges. Hills and ruined precipices 
accon,pan.ed us for a few miles above the Grand 
Calumet when the <tountry suddenly lowered and 

became flat. The riter has spread out, the banks 
are woody, marshy, or faced with sand-beaches 

and slight traces of fossil limestone 

Such without charige, for twenty miles or more 
up the river, is the kieighbourhood of Fort Cou- 
langes a small station belonging to the North- 
west Company, and used as a dep6t or refuse 
m case of accident. The clerk, in charge have 
cleared to profit about seventy acres of land 

We now forced the Allumettes Rapids, partly 
formed by a very lai^e island, now partly culti- 



vated, and adorned with a pretty church. They 
are the outlet of that portion of the Ottawa which 
is called the Lake des Allumettes. These rapids 
are distributed into a number of rocky narrows, 
one of which we ascended, taking us to a fall over 
a low shelf of gneis, where the canoe was carried 
a few yards and then pushed up another passage 
like a sewer or tunnel. 1 

Lake des Allumettes (sometimes considered 
as two) now opens to us, twenty-one miles 
long (including the island) by the usual breadth 
of one or two miles. The current is just percep- 
tible. It contains some low islands, and has 
flat banks, either sandy or wooded to the water's 

The landscape undergoes a sudden and ex- 
tremely picturesque change as we enter upon the 
next portion of the Ottawa, " the Deep River," or 
Riviere Creuse, of the French. The stream is at 
once narrowe<l by steep hills, which are either 
totally barren or are merely dotted with dark 
patches of fir. 

A few miles from the lower entrance brings us 
to Cape Bapteme, when for a great distance the 
Ottawa washes the base of very high brown cliffs 
of gneis, either in great solid sheets, or split, torn, 
and dismantled, the surfaces often covered with 
the edible but indigestible tripe des roches, and 


' -.?. 



the fissures harbouring solitary pi„es and nun,e- 
rous pendant scarlet flowers, bell-shaped. From 

Mr. Sheriff (to whom as an old acquaintance 
my k,nd regards) .ays "that from a hill at the 

foot of Deep RiveUrom 500 to 600 feet hifh 
there ,s a prospect which I have not seen surpas^d' 
The portion of the Ottawa within view is perhTps 

course. To the rig u is the Deep River, extend 
-g twenty miles al ng the base of the heights 
perfectly straight, af,d yet lined with an unfv „' 
succession of rugged points (headlands). To Ihe 
^>s the whole of the spacious windhig^^: 
upper Lake des AI|umettes. with its nLerous 

bejond the great island. Several smallerTkt 

are seen on both sidb of the river, and among 

the hdl from which the prospect is obtained. The 
W about here, except a rough ridge about the 
Ottawa, appears to be fertile." * 
One o{ our voya^ei^rs was once in the Deep 

W, when he and his mate^ espied a beir 
--mmg across. A. bear's meat fs jui; td 

♦Transact. Lit. Hi St. Soc. of Quebec, yoLii. 




good, the canoe gave chase and soon came up with 
the swimmer. A blow was made at him which 
missed, when the bear placed one paw on the 
edge of the canoe and fixed the other in the 
worsted belt of the man who struck at him. He 
was only prevented from swamping the canoe by 
a better aimed blow from the axe of a comrade, 
when the bear fell away, and was finally killed 
with long poles. These people had a narrow- 
escape. I 

This defile of steep hills and precipices alternat- 
ing for thirty-six miles is equal to the best part of 
the Rhine, apart from its ruins; a thousand 
pounds spent in erecting on a few commanding 
points some fragmentary castles would produce a 
splendid scene. It ends at the troublesome rapids 
of the Les Deux Joachims, when the country 
becomes depressed, but is still rocky and uneven. 
They are said to be three-fourths of a mile long, 
and are grand, being rather low cascades than 
rapids. | 

Nine miles further up, along a steady current, 
brings us to the River du Moine, near whose 
mouth the father of our priest, Mr. Tabeau, was 
drowned. Here the Ottawa drives for two miles 
violently down both sides of a steep island loaded 
with boulders, and having no vegetation but a 
few berries. 



The River du Moine enters thp Of. 
north-east side and J, / , "^"^^ °" '^s 

length. ' T^ '] '^ considerable size and 

One mile above' fbi'c o„„- 

D« Roche CaplJLrr- ", "' "" '^^'^ 

- island f„„. „„., ;*;• •' -' ''\°""^<' V 
ri^r,, s„cl, ,, , JS, ' ""*"■" "' P«s«cl many 

.'.ei^o.oa,Ja:er;; tr:rr'." 

From lancL I ' ° '""*'"' J'"*- 

■> high and the river wide ThJ '''.°°"^*0'« 

'" square n,a,». i, vew" , . '"""r'"'*** 
At ,1, J. ^ ^'^^*' everywhere 

At the distance of 330 miles from the St T 

rence, according to niv r« u 7 '' •^^'^- 

-i" river for .he weston brath ^i ^T "' 



Where I reluctantly left the noble Ottawa it 
was seen for a great distance, a mile broad and 
shallow, streaming down with great rapidity 
through a level woody country. 

The entrance into the western branch,* called 
the River Tesouac by the Indians, is as broad as 
the Thames at Windsor; it creeps sluggishly 
through swampy grounds for awhile, but soon 
widens, and the vicinity rises into well-wooded 
uplands. A fexv miles, however, brings us to the 
narrows, which are even more contracted than at 
the mouth; and the river becomes deep sunk in 
mural precipices crested with half-burnt pines. 

On the side of a lofty scarped rock, fifteen 
ni, es up the stream, is a triangular cave, called 
Hell Gate. It is shallow, and used as a land-mark 
We were nearly lost here. The current at this 
spot was extremely swift and rough. Roundino- 
a little point we were caught by a cross edd^ 
and flung violently on a pine-tree which had 
iallen into and across the river. Providentially 
It still had all its leaves on, and so did not thrust 
us through and sink us. There would have been 
no escape ; landing-place there was none for a 
mile or more. 

The ravine or chasm in which the river here 

the Magnetic Suv^ej.-Geoffr. Soc. Journal, vol. ivi. p. 263 
VOL.1. ^ • 



It* ' 










runs is so narrow and deep that the sun rises 
very high before it shines on the water, and 
hardly at all in winter. The gloom, therefore, is 
great, reminding one of the mouth of the classical 
Avernus; and it is heightened by the black colour 
of the rocks and the restless agitation of the 
waters. The woods around, when they are visible, 
through a momentary depression of the banks' 
are rather peculiar. Large tracts consist of fine 
healthy fir; then comes a district of fired trees 
blackening all withjn the horizon, mingled with 
patches of the lively green of the wild cherry and 
young poplar, and here and there a single huge 
pine. The current seldom maintains an^equable 
and moderate rate for a mile together : some 
descent or obstruction is continually occurring. 

Two beautiful waterfalls are met with about 
thirty-five miles from the great Ottawa. One is 
at the Portage Paresseux, and resembles that of 
La Puce, near Quebec, in escaping fi-om a dark 
channel of rocks and woods into a narrow dell. 
Its height is forty or fifty feet. The other fall,' 
that of La Talon,* is remarkable for its naked' 
ness and the fantastic shapes of the surrounding 
gneis rock. Marble appears here again. The 

* The Portage Talon, according to the officers of the Magnetic 
^TxS. p.^26V''* '""'' the sea.-G*<,yr«pA,ca/ Society jZnal. 



numerous portages on this sullen river are much 
alike, flat, swampy, or woody. 

I had a great surprise at the Portage Talon. 
Picking my steps carefully as I passed over the 
rugged ground, laden with things personal and 
culinary, I suddenly stumbled upon a pleasing 
young lady, sitting alone under a bush, in a green 
riding habit, and white beaver bonnet. Trans- 
fixed with a sight so out of place in the land of 
the eagle and the cataract, I seriously thought it 
was a vision of — 

" One of those fairy shepherds and shepherdesses 
Who hereabouts live on simplicity and watercresses." 

But having paid my respects, with some confu- 
sion (very much amused she seemed), I learnt 
from her that she was the daughter of an es- 
teemed Indian trader, Mr. Ermatinger, on her 
way to the falls of St. Mary with her father, and 
who was then, with his people, at the other end 
of the portage ; and so it turned out. A fortnight 
afterwards I partook of the cordialities of her 
Indian home, and bear willing witness to the 
excellence of her tea and the pleasantness of the 

Forty-five miles from the great Ottawa we left 
this branch, now rounding towards the north of 
Lake Nipissing, to cross three small but interest- 
ing lakes. These lakes are charming bits of 




.cenery oval i„ ,hape, H.e« or four mi,,. ,„„, 

1 shall only say: of the i„,e„eoi„ carrvin, 
places, that thevarai-n^l„ j '"S carrying 

especially the LP. J """^''' ""^ '""•'• 

.-.e-root, W, t, 'f ■ J"«t'P - ™<l .nd 

-« ena f :^^;^'i -rrr.'^^^ 

'he sources oftheVarRterththTsr"''"" 

;- broad, a lea; :ft:;'r.r: 
lower re"-ion Ti.«. ^ . ■'^ "^'^ * 



Co-Pany.t a decent,: ordinary-looking l::. 




not stockaded, with a potato-ground close to it, 
among marshes and gneis mounds. 

The old name of this fine lake is Bis-serenis. 
Its waves ran high, and the wind was fresh and 
chill, after the smothering air and dreary twilight 
of the thickets we had just quitted. There are a 
few islets on its ample bosom. I saw neither island 
nor main on the north shore, although the day was 
clear. Certain flitting islands, however, geogra- 
phers put in and out of their maps there at plea- 
sure ; which reminds me of a quaint and pictu- 
resque passage in old Hackluyt— " The like has 
been of those islands now known by the report 
of the inhabitants, which were not found of long 
time one after another, and therefore it should 
seem he is not yet born to whom God hath ap- 
pointed the finding of them."— P. 502. ^ 

The first part of the south shore is a bay twelve 
miles across. Its banks are low, but the land 
behind them rises moderately in shelves, and 
from the canoe appears to be bare, bleached 
rock, with patches of dwarf pine. The south 
shore is forty-six miles long. We coasted it. 
Everywhere it wears the same aspect, except in 
the unfrequent occurrence of islets far out in the 
lake. . 

Twenty miles from La Ronde, and half a mile 
from the south shore, there is a large jumbled 





heap of slabs of Wk w,VJ, a 

-^^-s as clean, J^^^^^f^ ^ «^-P. and 
gi-avestones, and then fl . ° "^""^"'^^ for 

- a brea Wer td/nT 7" '"^ ^^^^^^^^ 

^i« s«e and shape of Lake N' 
P'^ssed on maps, is onlv I I ^'P's«'«ff. as ex- 

*- have t.o de p bat o 'T ^""- '' -«-« 
<>fficersoftheMaCl"'^^^°«^*-de. The 

695 feet above the sta ' ''""'^ ^^ *«> ^e 

«hore of this lak^ t Tj' T'" '^'' ^^e south 
heavy soil, and extendinV '^ '''' "^^'^ * ^^ch. 

-^f ^i^tie rise, her,:^ re^^^^^^^^ -^^-^«; 

S'ght from the water r 7 ""''""^''y ^'^hin 


He goes on to state th.f T ^ ""''''• 
^^« Madawaska, near!;' 0^"^;^^ — of 
the country forms a ^reat taM '/ . '"^'"°'' «^ 
hard wood, and gradual ,'"^' ^'•^^^"ff 
^-ing. Alonft tut^^^^^^ ^owards.Lake 
"vers IVeswarbic^„d Zl'T ^'^ '' '^« 
country extends from witJ^ 1 ' '^'' ^^'^ «f 

specUto, that in this unnoticed 


part of Canada a fine habitable country will be 
found, millions of acres in extent. I hope it wiU 
erelong, be rendered accessible to population." In 
the face of the prolonged and severe winter here 
prevailing, I fear that until the rich soils of Lakes 
Ontario, Erie, and St. Clair, are taken in posses- 
sion, there is little chance for these wildernesses. 
Ihey may be worked for marble, iron, or copper 
^ We leave Lake Nipissing by the Portage Chau- 
diere des Frangois. It is near the falls of the 
same name, and leads over low ridges of naked 
gneis, and here and there a cliff, to a backwater 
of the interesting River des Frangois, by which 
this lake discharges into Lake Huron. 

The falls are principally to be noticed for se- 
veral smooth, funnel-shaped holes in the solid 
rock, near the lake, but twenty foet above its 
present level. One is from three to four feet deep 
and as many across at the top, but only eighteen 
inches at the bottom. | 

They are supposed to be caused by the friction 
of stones whirled round by an eddy, as they have 
actually been seen where eddies have been known 
to exist. The other holes (or kettles) are smaUer 
as far as I recollect. , 

These appearances are common in Canada. I 
have even seen one on the Long Sault Rapid of 
the Ottawa on a large loose stone. In the granite 




of Cape Tourment, forty miles below Quebec, 
there is the commencement, the rudiments as it 
were, of a kettle— concentric excavated rings, 
each an inch in diameter, and the whole abo°ut 
nine inches across. 

I shall not dwell long on the River des Fran- 
cois, which we descended fast and gaily, lest I 
become tedious, although it is a very peculiar 
river. It less resembles a single stream than a 
bundle of watercourses flowing, with frequent 
inosculations, among lengthened ridges of rocks. 
The utterly barren fend naked shores seldom 
present continuous lines bounding a compact 
body of water, but are commonly excavated into 
deepened narrow bay$, obscured by high walls of 
rock and stunted pintes. It is seventy-five miles 
long. Its breadth is exceedingly various, some- 
times swelling into a broad lake for miles, and 
crowded with islands. 

Few prospects exceed, in the grand and sin- 
gular, those which are often here created by the 
groups of long and Iqfty islets, extending from a 
circle, in giant rays, fir into some dark gulf-like 
bay ; their rugged outlines and wild foliage re- 
flected in the clear waters, and solemnised by the 
profound silence of these solitudes. In certain 
parts of the river, where the rocks are more 
distinctly stratified than usual, the freezing of 



crevice water has. made great devastations, load- 
in- the land with shale, as in Lower Canada, 
and sometimes splitting off, and piling masses 
of vast size and weight upon one another. 
At one place, not far from half-way down (I 
think), the passage is nearly closed by a large 
heap of bare Cyclopean blocks. Noah, as he 
stepped from the ark, must have cast his eye 
over a scene like this— not a pound of soil m htty 
square miles -a region bruised, crushed, half- 
drowned, deserted by all living. ■ 

It was near this spot that a memorable mas- 
sacre of missionary monks took place, but I have 
unfortunately lost the details. I 

Beside the Chaudifere Cascade there is another 
called Des Recollets, twenty miles down the 
river. It is from fifteen to twenty feet high, but 
niirrow, and divided into three portions by two 
fragments of rock. It is very beautiful in its 
white waters and dark walls, bristling with dead 
and living pine, almost naked heights being close 

at hand. 

I was much interested by the ruins of an Indian 
fort, or look-out, which still remains on a point 
of land commanding a good view downwards, 
and, I think, upwards. It was a circular build- 
in-, about five feet in diameter. When I saw it 
it 'was only four and a half feet high. It was 



carefully constructed of the stones at hand, and 
would contain a couple of Indian watchers in the 
days when war seldom ceased.* Cooper's splen- 
did powers of description and amplification would 
have ennobled this spot with thrilling adventure. 
Indian drawings occur on the smooth face of a 
gneis mound not far from hence. They are rude 
sketches of animals and men in various attitudes. 
Many rapids occur, but the most serious is that 
of Bnsson. It is v^ry swift and turbulent. As 
our canoe turned roand and round in it. in spite 
of all our men could do, the sight of thirteen 
wooden crosses lining the shore, in memory of as 
many watery deaths, conveyed no more comfort 
tomymmd than do the impaled bodies on the 
highways of Turkey to the feelings of their surviv- 
mg robber-friends. The current is always strong^ 
so that we swept down the river in one day. 

In descending there is but one portage, that 
of the Recollet, and it is said, though I cannot 
believe it, that Indians have dashed over that 
fall. In ascending there are many portages. 

At the upper part of the River des Francois the 
neighbouring country attains a moderate heicrht 
either in great piles of dislocated rocks or in 
stair-like ridges. Nearer Lake Huron its envi- 
ed* ^w ^"7 ^ ^ ^^°'^'' ^^ «"»»' "^^ "^al <«> the 
old route to the Lake of the Woods from Lake Superior. 



rons are lower ; and as far as is visible from the 
canoe, they are destitute of vegetation. 

This river discbarges itself into Lake Huron in 
narrow channels formed by parallel, smooth, 
naked mounds of gneis, a few yards broad, a few 
feet high, and broken into lengths of twenty to 
two hundred yards. La Dalle, from three to five 
miles from Lake Huron, a rapid of uncommon 
swiftness, is a gut of this kind. It is not more 
than ten or twelve feet wide, and an hundred 
yards long. Our canoe flashed through it almost 
in a moment. Either of its sides I could have 
touched with a walking-stick. I 

We now enter Lake Huron (a stormy water, 
a thousand miles round), among shallows, reefs, 
and tortoise-backed mounds. Its shores here are 
low and barren, but the back-ground rises higher. 
The blue line in the south, resembling a long 
low cloud, is the Great Manitouline Island. 
But it will be better here to leave my kind 
friends of the North-west Company and their 
untiring canoemen, as I shall be enabled to 
describe Lake Huron more fully and better in a 
future excursion. | 

I afterwards learnt that my companions re- 
turned in the autumn to Montreal in health and 

safety. My best wishes and grateful acknow- 
ledgments abide with them. 



Calash Journey by Montmorenci and Chateau Riche to St Anne, 
Ferry -house — Cottage life — Falls of St. Anne — Indian Family 
in the Woods — Feriole : Double Sunset — Cape Tourment — 
WsJk round its Base to La Petitq Riviere — Grand Scenery — 
Dsmgerous Precipices — Slippery Rocks — Mud up to the 
Knees — Dinner at a Cascade — Almost impassable Buttress 

— Mosquitoes — La Petite Riviere : Arrived disconsolate — 
Boat Voyage to St. Paul's Bay — Kindness of M. Rousseau 
and Family — The Peasantry — Earthquakes — A Tea-Party 

— Discussion with an M.PJ*. — Cross the St. La^yrence to 
L'Islet — Sleep in a Hay Chambeii — Walk along south Shore to 

The few of my acquaintances who had visited 
the St. Lawrence for any distance below Quebec 
were loud in their praises of its scenery and in- 
habitants. I was therefore determined to em- 
brace the first opportunity <if judging for myself. 
Early in the month of September, on my 
return from the geological tour round Upper 
Canada, the head of the medical department for 



Canada, Dr. Wright, invited me to accompany 
him and a young friend* to the Bay of St. Paul 
by land, a distance of sixty miles. If our excel- 
lent old friend had been better informed, I think 
he would not have made the attempt ; the main 
and most novel part of the affair being to walk 
round the foot of the Tourment mountain, where 
it is for many miles bathed by the St. Lawrence. 
We hired over night two of the high, creaking, 
shaking calashes of Lower Canada, invented in 
the sixteenth century, to take us— not forgetting 
a good store of provisions— to St. Anne the 
Great, a parish and river, twenty-eight miles 
below Quebec, and close to the great bluff just 
mentioned, called Cape Tourment. 

In the mists of early morning we issued fiom 
the sombre Temple gate of the city into a dirty 
suburb, among river craft, timber-yards, docks, 
and the narrow Norman carts of the " marche- 
doncs," as their drivers are nicknamed, from 
their perpetual use of that "cry" to their cattle. 

We were soon at the stout wooden bridge over 
the St. Charles, and on the highroad to (and 
through) Beauport, with its handsome church 
and long line of houses. 

We successively trotted past the comfortable 

* A promising young medical officer, who soon afterwards was 
sent to Cape-Coast Castle. Of course he died there. 



inn at Montmorenci (nioe miles), the pretty- 
terraces, church, and presbytery of Ange Gardien 
(eleven or twelve miles), and then dipped at 
once into the marshes, famous for snipe, which 
border the St. Lawrence. 

Although the herbs and foliage were no longer 
gushing and throbbing, ftnd swelling with the 
hasty impulses of the early Canadian spring, 
still all was fresh and veitdant. An almost tro- 
pical sun was glowing in ihe clear sky, and the 
cicada* was ringing its trilling note, loud, 
metallic, and ceaseless, from every bush. 

We reascended these terraces at Chateau Riche 
(sixteen miles), at certain seasons a favourite 
resort for sportsmen. The old castle is there 
yet — four bare walls — scarcely worth a visit. ^ 

After having refreshed ourselves here, and 
taken a glimpse of the Falls of La Puce, not far 
from hence, we rode along a similar river-side 
for twelve more miles, when we gladly rested at 
St. Anne's, and took up ou|r abode at a peasant's 
cottage, near a ferry, on the picturesque river 
St. Anne, not many hundred yards from the St. 

Our harbour for the night was a Canadian 

* A curious dumpy insect (the cic^ndela), rather less than one's 
thumb-end, and like it in shape, contmon in warm climates. The 
noise is made by rubbing the thighs tigainst its sides. 



house of the ordinary sort, accustomed to take 
in occasional guests like ourselves. It contained 
one large, low, common room or kitchen, with 
two ample windows in it, a cast-iron stove in the 
middle, and a large fire-place at one side. Then 
came, also on the ground-floor, a bed-chamber 
for the family, and another for visitore, with a 
cock-loft above all, entered by a ladder, for the 
grown-up boys to sleep in, among all sorts of 
provender and farming-tools. 

The walls of all the rooms were adorned with 
rude religious pictures, and in each was an 
earthenware crucifix, with a receptacle for holy 
water attached. 

I need scarcely say that the house was full of 
hardy boys and girls — the father more stupid- 
looking than usual; a kind of good-humoured 
bear. The mother was the ruling spirit, short, 
black-eyed, bustling, and flushed. 

She received us gaily, and bade us go play at 
ducks and drakes with the flat pebbles* in the 
river, until she had prepared a good supper of 
fowl, potatoes, and soup. 

She kept her word; and we husbanded our 
own providings for worse times. After supper, 

* We did not play long with the pebbles, for we found the 
riyer loaded with erratic blocks, among which we met with coccolite, 
aatin-spar, garnet, graphic granite, &c. &c. 



some excellent rnm-toddV disposed us for bed ; 
and thither we went. 

During the evening we had an opportunity of 
observing the domestic lifi? of the Canadian pea- 
sant. Neither parents nor children made the 
slightest account of our presence. Gentle cuffs 
and '* orders perempt" went on as usual. The 
whole family took suppet together out of one 
large bowl of thin bouilli, into which were 
thrown large pieces of brown bread, cabbage,* 
and some herbs unknowjn to me, with a few 
small masses of fat. Earih took care of himself 
in an orderly manner, with a short-handled broad 
wooden spoon. 

Soon after supper, the whole family knelt 
round the largest of the windows for several 

of evening shining in 
low tones their well- 

minutes, the bright stars 
upon them, uttering in 
meant prayers. 

The French Canadians are a devout people. 
Four out of five houses have domestic prayer 
regularly. Their worship, such as it is, carries 
with it an observable bljessing in family unity 
and affection. Would it were better applied, 
and that their King and Redeemer had his full 
rights ! 

* Hence another Canadian by-name, "conp-choux," or chop- 
cabbage, applied to the peasantry. 



This scene made me draw comparisons, and 
gave me a disagreeable twinge. Family prayer, 
morning and evening, does not exist in one 
Protestant house in ten, I fear, in Britain and 
elsewhere. I 

The next day we resolved to go up the river 
St. Anne a few miles, as far as the nearest falls. 
If we had taken with us one of the brave boys 
of the cottage, we should have fared better; 
but having a thread-like track of trodden leaves 
in the woods pointed out to us as the unmis- 
takeable path, forwards we set alone; but in 
about a mile (and it seemed two), near a sudden 
rise of land, our single trace separated into 
several. Taking the likeliest, the river being 
out of sight and hearing, we trudged on for a 
mile or so, and were stopped by impenetrable 
underwood. Retracing our steps, we tried a 
second and a third foot-way with like result. 
But during the third attempt, as we were think- 
ino- of returning home wearied and disconsolate, 
we alighted upon an Indian family at a bark 
wigwam, weaving dyed baskets for sale in the 
neighbourhood. They were a well-favoured 
group, in decent attire, only Indian in part, — 
just such as a half-crazy person in an English 
village, fond of finery, and at the same time poor, 

VOL. I. N 



might put on. I thought their life not so bad for 
summer-time. Our new friends soon put us in 
the way to the falls. Tl^ey spoke French, and 
were Roman Catholics. 

The falls are well worth a vbit. I regret not 
to have a sketch of them ; but there are very 
many as fine in Canada, which, like Sweden, is 
par excellence the land of cataracts. 

The waters, embowered in fine trees, leap 
spiritedly into a deep chajsm of primitive rocks, 
down whose sides a treacherous path takes us to 
the bottom of the falls, if we are very venturous 
and determined. 

We were glad to find ourselves once more at 
the ferry-house of St. Anne. 

The next day we set o^t in a calash for the 
romantic parish of St. Feriole, among the moun- 
tains, from five to ten nfliles back from the St. 

At first we ascended a sandy terrace (whilome 
the river shore), across a stripe of cultivation 
among low clumsy houses without gardens ; and 
then soon afterwards another — a broad one — 
also ranging parallel to the St. Lawrence for 
many miles up-stream. The soil of this upper 
flat being sandy, we difove through fragrant 
groves of pine over a road as good as in an Eng- 



lish park, until we neared the rude and strag- 
gling village, when the occurrence of granite 
rocks made the ascent rough and sharp. • 

After having quietly surveyed the stem and 
singular scenery about the village, we struck a 
few hundred yards northwards upon the " Rose," 
a mountain torrent, ten yards across, always a 
violent rapid, and sometimes dropping suddenly 
into wooded abysses. Near one of these cascades 
a tall pine-tree had fallen across the stream. 
Nothing could prevent our younger comrade 
from tottering across it. Twenty fatal possi- 
bilities might have happened to him, but he went 
and returned in safety, and greatly self-exalted, 
I suppose. 

The mountain village of St. Feriole is chiefly 
remarkable for a leaning sugar-loaf hill to the 
west, which gives rise to a phenomenon often 
spoken of in Canada — a double sunset. The 
sun sets to the inhabitants of the village as it 
passes behind -this hill, reappears for a short 
time, and sets again behind the succeeding 
height. At certain seasons the effect is striking. 

The late Colonel Forrest, an admirable artist, 
took several views in this vicinity, induced by me 
to visit it. The prevailing tint in the hill-forests 
of Canada, rifle green, is well seen here. 

We now drove merrily back to our pleasant 



ferry-house, and prepared for the greater feat of 
the following day — the walk round the base of 
Cape Tourment. 

There are few objects in Lower Canada better 
known, and perhaps mofe carefully avoided, 
than the great headland of Cape Tourment, nine- 
teen hundred feet high. It is the advanced 
portion of a great group of mountains, occupying 
a lofty inner country, untravelled, save by a few 
Indians. Near to, and behind it, is a massy 
summit somewhat higher than itself. 

Government has cut a narrow road over this 
hill country, side by side with the St, Lawrence, 
to connect Quebec with S^. Paul's Bay by land, 
and in the boggy parts has laid down a little 
corduroy. | 

When I passed over it (not in this excursion) 
there was not a habitation throughout the twenty- 
seven miles of woods : now, there is a log-hut and 
a little clearance every league. 

The road is usually in ^teep ascents and de- 
scents, with swift brooks flowing in the bottoms, 
among large fragments ojf rock. Seven miles 
from St. Anne is the River Nombrette, or La 
Grande Riviere, which traverses a rich but neg- 
lected country in three branches, all crossed by 
the road near a wood of rei^aarkably tall pines. 

The traveller is so buried in trees, that rarely 



along this dreary route is the fatigue of an ascent 
repaid to him by a prospect ; but now and then 
scenes of grandeur and savage beauty never to 
be forgotten reveal themselves. The eye ranges 
over undulating surfaces, where only the tree- 
tops are seen, blending in patches all imagi- 
nable hues of green, from the fairest to the 

Sometimes we see a forest-valley encircling a 
lake or morass, and swelling on all sides into 
hills; at others the landscape rises higher, be- 
comes more abrupt, and presents a number of 
black, broad, steep, almost alpine mountain 
flanks, intersecting each other, as we see in the 
Swiss canton of Uri, with rapid streams winding 
through their narrow and rocky intervals. 

From the near or west end of this gloomy and 
high track, just before descending into the low 
grounds of St. Anne, looking over the tops of 
the lower trees, we suddenly behold tlie wide 
St. Lawrence, the corn-fields and dwellings of 
St. Joachim and St. Anne in the bright vale 
below, with the Isle of Orleans farther off, and a 
dim vision of Quebec shining alofL 

The view from the other end of this woodland 
road, peeping down into St. Paul's Bay, is equally 
but differently beautiful. 



Such is the immediate vicinity of Cape Tour- 
ment. j 

The day after the trip ' to St. Feriole, having 
breakfasted, we started with a guide secured at 
no ordinary wage. He carried our provisions 
and a coil of rope. I 

We purposed walking to the hamlet of La 
Petite Riviere, eighteen miles distant, without a 
habitation in the interval, and almost wholly 
an iron-bound coast, at the foot of Cape Tour- 
ment, and two-thirds washed directly by the 
waves of the St. Lawrence, save occasional 
beaches of mud or shingle. 

Crossing the shallow and noisy St. Anne, and 
some fields beyond, we came to the foot of the 
huge bluff" — Cape Tourment — up above, a pile 
of toppling crags — down below, a cliff with little 
ledges. I 

Up this cliff the waves 'swept, ever and anon, 
dashing sheets of water many feet higher thau 
the usual common sea-level. 

I was dismayed. My companions behaved 
better than I did. As we faced a precipice thirty 
or forty feet high, to be clambered up by us, 
*' This cannot be the way," shouted I ; "do you 
take us for Barbary apes?" 

The good guide spake not, but shewed us one 



or two footings, and then a broader ledge on which 
to take breath and fresh courage. Getting up 
himself first, he gave a hand to each in turn ; and 
at length, with trembling knees and anxious eyes, 
we were planted on the summit, no little pleased 
with our success. I 

After walking safely enough over high masses 
of fractured rocks, we now followed our guide's 
example, and pulled off our shoes and stockings 
to pass over a series of slippery granite-mounds 
sloping into deep water, as smooth and shining as 
if they had been coated with French polish. We 
meet with precisely the same on the Hasli side of 
the Grimsel Pass. I was surprised how securely 
the naked foot clung to the glass-like rock. 

This having continued about half a mile, a good 
deal of rough but safe walking succeeded, in the 
midst of which we came upon a splendid fissure, 
or cleft, in the mountain — another " Breche de 
Roland," deep and narrow, and reaching far up the 
acclivity, composed of grand rock masses piled 
high in the air, with a few scattered pines here 
and there. It may be a water-course in winter, 
but there is none in September. It was beyond 
my pencil, and laughed audibly at my drawing- 
paper, eight inches by five. 

Now the fall of the tide permitted our access to 
the beach, where for four or five heavy miles did 




we solemnly trudge barefoot, always over ankles, 
sometimes up to the knees, in smooth brown mud. 
Once or twice, in rounding a point, we waded 
nearly up to the middle. We loudly expressed 
our disrelish of this mode of progression ; but 
there was no retreat. 

About half-way to La Petite Riviere, we met 
with a charming little cascade dancing down from 
a mountain summit. Its sweet water and our 
need tempted us to dine by its side. Dining 
was pleasant ; but mosquitoes soon found us out, 
and punished us severely. I suffered less than 
my friends, because instead of taking a nap I ran 
about examining the rocks. The little plagues bit 
poor Ritchie blind ; at least he became so in an 
hour or two from the swelling of the eyelids and 

After lingering about our cascade for four hours, 
on account of the tide,, we set out again, and alter- 
nately climbed over piles of large debris, or crept 
round their bases. At length we were, to all 
appearance, stopped by a smooth round buttress, 
thirty feet across, the deep waters below lashing 
and washing high up the rock, while all above 
looked most forbidding. But straight across this 
buttress ran a horizontal ledge, a couple of inches 
broad. Upon this my two friends and the guide 
shuflSed with vast titemor and hesitation, with 




many a stop and wistful look, declaring they could 
neither go on nor return. ■ T did not like the 
thick tongues of water the tide every now and 
then spit upwards near the ledge. 

I cried out energetically, and truly, that my 
dizzy head would not even allow of my trying to 
pass. So I hopelessly mounted the entangled 
steep several hundred feet above the buttress, and 
at last found a jumble of huge blocks, forming a 
kind of bore, tunnel, or passage. As it seemed 
to slope downwards and crosswise promisingly, 
I crawled into it, and, with sundry abrasions, 
scratches, and rendings of skin and clothes, on 
arriving at the other end, I saw myself on the 
wished-for side of the awkward " pas," my friends 
standing a good way below me, and gazing about 

The love of geology had enticed us into these 
perils. I bethought me of the old sarcasm ut- 
tered against all such crazy folk as we — " /, 
demens, et curre per A Ipes." 

Vast dimensions, like those we see in Switzer- 
land and the Himalayas, are not required to pro- 
duce feelings of pleasurable awe.' A walk under 
the heights of Dover will prove this. So we were 
well justified in being delighted with the scenery 
jf Cape Tourment. 

The mountain was steep — here in perpendicular 



sheets of naked ro<[k, there in heaped- up Cyclo- 
pean ruins, overspread in parts with delicate 
fohage. Lofty headlands along shore shewed us 
labour to come; and a brisk wind which had 
sprung up, while it cooled the hot air, was whiten- 
ing the waves with little breakers over the broad 
surface of the St. Lawrence. 

Toward the latter third of our day's work the 
coast lowered. We fell in, fortunately, with a 
level beach of yellqw sand for five weary miles 
towards La Petite ^ivi^re. The finely-shaped 
hills of the Eboulements and Malbay seigniories 
now came into view. The last six miles I led my 
poor friend It., for he was stone blind. Of him 
it might be said, " He saw no man, but they led 
him by the hand." Our chief was also disabled. 
The insects and thk mud-wading had greatly 
swollen his legs, and made them look like raw 
beef. Right glad were we to find ourselves, at 
about nine in the evfcning, in the first poor hut 
we met with— that of an aged couple, who kindly 
gave us shelter. The little collection of dwellings 
near the St. Lawrence offered nothing better. We 
supped upon our own provisions ; after which, a 
blanket or two being spread on the floor, we were 
all speedily at rest. 

Next morning my friends were not much better, 
and all were tired and suffering ; but myself the 




least. Walking any further was out of the 

I should here mention that the seigniory of La 
Petite Riviere is a group of small farms in a 
break in the mountains, through which runs a 
gentle stream. The scene, overhung by Cape 
Maillard, 2200 feet kigh, is rural and more than 
pretty. The level ground consisted principally of 
hay-fields, and the people were busy gathering in 
their crop. Wliite houses are dotted about ; and 
far up the valley I espied a church-steeple. An 
Englishman is as seldom seen at this place almost 
as in Timbuctoo (in my time). 

In the afternoon we hired a stout fishinff-boat, 
and started with four civil Canadians for the Bay 
of St, Paul, twelve miles lower down the St. Law- 
rence, and on the same (the north) side. 

We coasted the flats of La Riviere, animated by 
an active population ; then by the side of a dark 
mountain curving round a deep bay, and bathed 
by the tide. We soon turned Cape de la Baie, 
the west angle of St. Paul's Bay, and came in 
sight of the seigniory and church of that name, 
placed at the base of a deep semicircle of undu- 
lating mountains, most of the houses hidden by a 
line of firs cr6s»ing part of the valley. 

As we were approaching the mouth of the 
GouflPre, the river which drains the valley-,- T»« 




inquired of our boatmen for accommodation durino- 
our short stay. As in all the more remote seig! 
niories, there is no inn, for the same reason that 
there is no doctor -the trade will not pay, our 
friends recommended us to try M. Rousseau, a 
very respectable farmer residing close by. 

The wind drove us qp the GouflFre rapidly for 
about a mile, when we l^rought to opposite a low, 
roomy, clap-boarded house a few yards from the 
nver, with true signs of the comfortable about it 
—a good garden, outhouses, and several chimneys. 
An old soldier in a campaign, always billets him- 
self, if possible, upon a l|ouse with two chimneys 
at the least-never wherft there is only one; and 
for very obvious reasons. 

We announced ourselvps. M. Rousseau was at 
home, and, although pekect strangers, without 
introductions, received u^ with the greatest kind- 
ness-a kindness manifested with equal earnest- 
ness by his wife and fan^ily. A room was given 
to us containing two snow-white beds, and re- 
freshments were soon on table. 

Nature had been at bes(: but niggardly to us in 
personal attractions ; and we were then even less 
so than usual, being purblind, lame, and - used 
up," as well as roughly clad for a rough service. 
Poor Ritchie's face was as marred and speckled 
as if he had had the smallpox. Nevertheless. 



during our three days' stay, the attentions of this 
good family were unremitting. The invalids were 
carefully and successfully nursed. We fared well ; 
the port was good, though but little drunk, and the 
beds were soft. When we left, in spite of our 
sincere endeavours, we were not allowed to make 
any remuneration for the trouble we had given. 

After refreshment, leaving my friends in-doors, 
I stepped forth to examine our whereabouts. I 
stood in the middle of a semi-oval valley, four 
miles deep by two broad, screened all around 
by a high country of mountains and their peaks, 
save towards the St. Lawrence. These mountains 
again, are flanked in the valley at irregular dis- 
tances by alluvial terraces, in descending series 
towards the River Gouffre, two or three in number, 
and not always perfect.* These terraces and knolls 
are studded with dwellings by twos and threes, 
and by clumps of beeches. Through this sweet 
scenery the River Gouffre pursues a winding and 
often destructive course from the interior, and has 
one or more noble belts of firs near its marshy 

The whole has a very Swiss look — a sea of 
mountains in the rear — the hamlets sprinkled 

* On the east side of the outer valley of which I am now speak- 
ing is a great talas of large and small boulders and earth massed 
high up the hill-sides. 



on the steeps -the co^n in little patches amon^ 
precipices-tiny cascades, the pretty church, and 
the roomy old houses half hidden by pine-groves. 
As well as this outer valley, there is another 
^vithin, which seemed little more than an um- 
brageous dell continued into the interior for se- 
veral miles among primitive mountains abound- 
mg in iron ore. and giving passage to the Gouffre. 
I shall not sketch in further detail this colony 
of ^ ormans, as two illustrations of it are given 

We had several pleasant rambles. The people 
were as comfortable and contented as well as may 
be m a world of trial. We seldom or never see 
m Lower Canada any of tiliose slow, thick-skinned 
unimpressionable rustics-barn-door savages as I 
have heard them unfeelingly called-that fill our 
Villages in England. U St. Paul's Bay they are 
rather a good-looking race-spare, active, with a 
quick eye, both men and women. The French 
Canadian has lively affections, great excitability ; 
his feelings play freely, and are almost explosive 
He IS fond of money, shrewd in its acquirement 
and retentive when he ha^ it. 

Although it is true that tower Canada is a hard 
country hard in its sky, hard in the earth and 
in wrinkle-begetting labour-yet, on the whole, 
the condition of its agricultural population is far 
preferable to that of the English labourer. The 



chief drawback is the great expense of keeping 
cattle through the long winter, and the forced 
idleness of so extended a period of time. 

The Lower Canadian acquires land easily ; and 
there is plenty of room for his children after him. 
The frugal and industrious man, who lives within 
ten or fifteen miles of a town, in coin also, 
as a rule. His market is remunerative. He has 
numerous religious holidays, which usually lead 
to gossip and merry-making. His spiritual di- 
rector is commonly his adviser-general, and is 
taken from his own rank of life. 

St. Paul's Bay is so healthy as not to require a 
medical man. There is nothing for him to do, 
although there are more than 3000 inhabitants in 
the vicinity. Several have been starved out. 

Something either political or connected with 
the climate has of late disturbed the serenity of 
the Lower Canadians. Although they have an 
extreme distaste for the manners and habits of 
the Americans, they have been emigrating in con- 
siderable numbers to the State of Illinois within 
the last two years ; a thousand in 1848 to Chicago. 

Out-door work in so severe a climate injures 
the appearance and gait of females. We saw at 
a little dance, however, in a barn belonging to 
our hosts, some pleasing faces. I have observed 
that the hardships undergone by European as well 




as Amencan «,others do not deprive their infants 
and young people of the round, blooming, hopeful 
features, the grace .nd general lo.eLess we 
expect at their time 6f life. The almost super- 
natural ugliness and ^trocious aspect of a full- 
blood Indian grandmother is beyond conception • 
t^.e revolting idea ha^ yet to be transmitted to 
-turope. I 

From time to time earthquakes and other sin- 
gular appearances take place in this and the 
ncghbouring seigniories. As far as I am aware 
the h,st well-authenticated instance at St Paul's 
took place in 1792. This has been described by 
Mr. Gagnon. in a letter to Capt. Baddeley. R E 
and by him quoted in ^'Transactions of the His- 
torical Society of Quebec." vol. i. p. 145 As it 
IS worth reading, I hav0 made some extracts from 
It m a note.* \ 

^Ibelie^'e that Lieut. Hall's sketch of this part 
of Lower Canada, made in 1814, is the last public 
notice of it. 

earthquakes for six weeks, from 

two to five daily, but much more 

frequent aurin, the first ^^.K^::,: ZririZ^ZZ 
eastern direction. Weather thick "ne shock had an 

mountains, ^h ..o'ra^T^o:! '.Z o^;^^ T"" '"^ 
tinual eruption of thick smoke, 1 dSth flat ''"' I"" T"' 
in? hio-J, ;„»<;• J I ^'"^' sometmies shoot- 

u.g .n tfie a., and at others ^cending in large round volumes, 



Strangers being rarely seen here, our little 
rambles had not been unnoticed.* On our third 
morning, therefore, the member for the Bay and 
its vicinity in the Provincial Parliament, a little 
quick-witted, elderly person, called upon us, and 
with great politeness invited us to tea for the same 
evening. Our being without visiting costume was 
not held to be an obstacle ; so we willingly sur- 
rendered, partly to shew a friendly feeling, and 
partly from a fancy to see the manage of the 
leading individual (the priest excepted) of the 
locality. > 

Of the outside of Mr. Pothier's house I shall 
not say a word, because it is faithfully delineated 
from behind, in Irish fashion, in the accompany- 

t^istiag and whirling about. During the whole night the spec 
tacle was admirable. The sky was all on fire and agiuted. There 
was a feeling of heat on the face, but no wind." 

No one has seen the spot. In 1828, w^n Capt. Baddeley re- 
ceived Mr. Gagnon's letter, he thought it useless to try to find it 
as every trace of the eruption would be obliterated by a luxuriant 
vegetation. Besides, Capt. Baddeley had not the necessary time 
at his command. ^ 

* My companions having been disabled by the walk round Cape 
Tourment our geological and botanical excursions were very li- 
mited. Ue found some curious inter-stratifications ofgneis and 
marble, with a small vein of sulphuret of lead and fluor spar, at a 
cascade on the west side of the vaUey ; and I made a hasty rush 
mto the picturesque upper valley for two or three miles, but I saw 
nothing worth noting, for want of time. I am persuaded that this 
"cinity would weU reward the visit of a geologist 

VOL. I. ^ 


ing drawing. This drawing gives us a pleasing 
idea of the secluded valley, its pretty church, ve- 
nerable presbytery, fuU-foliaged trees, and warm 
dwellings scattered along the river-side. In the 
corner of the picturej is a high pole ; this marks 
the residence of a militia officer, where his men 
rendezvous when required . 

We found that our new friend, besides being a 
proprietor and occupjer of land, kept a store, to 
the great convenience <t>f the public, at which might 
be purchased every nameable article suited to the 
place— rice and ribboKS, tape and tobacco, bon- 
nets and butter, &c. Sec. 

I was somewhat displeased that he did not ask 
our host and his amiable family — a neglect, I 
suppose, arising from $ome local mystery. 

We found nothing liew or shocking in our en- 
tertainment : it was Etaglish,— only better, in the 
opinion of those who are fond of liqueurs and 
confectionary. Unfortunately for my wish to 
meet a pure native, both Madame and her only 
daughter had more than once accompanied the 
M.P.P. to Quebec, where they would of necessity 
see much good society, and assist at the Governor- 
General's annual ball. For party reasons, as 
well as for better, the members of the Provincial 
Parliament were much] courted at that time. 
The ladies were quiet and simple in their man- 



ners, neat in their dress— some three years per 
haps, behind Bond Street; but that was noWeat 
matter. i * 

Our chief suggested to me, by a little by-play 
that I ought to be attentive to the young lady as 
she was evidently an heiress ; but I at once be-Ud 
off, although she was both pleasing and intelli^e°nt 
Takmg my friend to a window, I explaine'd to 
him that I was of too tender years to take upon 
me as yet the responsibilities of "«n homme fait." 
Neither was I inclined to spend the rest of my 
days in the hollow of a tree, and as such should 
I have felt even the sweet vale of St. Paul. 

None are so home-sick as the damsels of the 
free and easy Canadas ; very few of them bear 
transplanting, as hundreds of English oflScers 
know right well. 

Our kind entertainer had designed that evening 
to fructify; for the tea-things having been re- 
moved, and the ladies settled to their tambours, 
he proceeded to play the member of assembly— 
that is, to indoctrinate our elder companion at 
much length into the griefs, as he called them, of 
his country. The French Canadians of the better 
class, who have been more or less educated, are 
often thoughtful, and fond of political discussion. 
Although they have few books, and those of a 
very old school, they have nimble minds," and 



spend much of the viiinter together— the young 
in frolic, and the oldeij in grave debate. 

It was only natural Jhat we conversed on public 
topics. Mr. Pothier spoke on what deeply in- 
terested himself, and upon what he thought he 

understood. He real] 
one effort, and several 

ly made quite a speech at 
smaller ones. 
I shall write down this conversation fully, and, 
in its substance, with tolerable accuraev, as repre- 
senting faithfully the ?tate of French 'feelings at 
the time, and as sheafing how deeply and uni- 
versally the Canadians had at heart the great 
privilege of self-government.* Most, if not all 
the great public grievances then existing, have 
since been removed. They have self-government 

"Gentlemen," said he, the play of his features 
shewing a marked wish not to offend bis guests, 
and yet a settled deterniination to open his mind 
to a party of officials, however humble and power- 
less in reality,-" I hope I do not presume too 
" far upon your forbearance, in laying before you 
" a few of my provincial notions this evening; 
" and before I say another word" (whereupon 
our good chief, who had been looking at his still 
swollen legs, pricked up his ears a little alarmed), 

* It has been transcribed a yaar ; and therefore before the pre- 
sent agitation. '^ 











permit me to declare to you that the inhabit- 
ants of my country are not insensible to the 
many blessings they enjoy under the mild sway 
of Britain. i 

"1 am about to set things in a light new to 
you — perhaps unpleasantly new, but still in 
the true light. Public opinion in England is 
strongly against our wishes ; but this is simply 
for want of consideration. On some subjects, 
light reaches us all at one time, only through 
a crevice, as it were, and is little better than 
darkness ; but after a while the crevice becomes 
a window, and the window a bright oriel. May 
it be so now ! I hope to obtain our demands 
by amicable means — a bloody struggle would 
be too costly, as well as uncertain. It may 
come to this; but I will not share in it. 
" We ask not to intermeddle in the imperial 
questions of peace and war, or of treaty-making; 
but for an executive government, responsible 
for all their acts to the people of the Canadas, 
as represented in their Senate and House of 
Assembly. We ask for the precious faculty of 
self-management — for the power of transacting 
all our business purely local and Canadian, 
without reference to Downing Street. We wish 
for the control of all monies levied in the 
colony; the appointment and dismissal of all 


I a i 



^^ executive and judicial officials, who must be 
^^ as far as possible, Canadian -born. In granting 
^^ this, It does appear to me that humanity would 
^^ receive a magnanimous lesson, and that all 

parties would be great gainers. 
^^ " I aS^free to confess to you that my country- 
men hourly sigh for their political rights" (I 
am translating from t)ie French). "We feel it 
;; to be quite as indisjiensable to communities to 
^^ manage their own affairs, and be responsible 

.. ^"V^r' '^° 'PP'°'^'' ^ " '« ^° individuals; 
^^ and that no abundance of meat and clothing 
no security of person^ can compensate for the 
want of that moral schooling which is involved 
,. "^ ««^%"'dance, or fbr the loss of the whole- 
^^ some and joyous sensfe which fills the breast of 

the citizen of a self-ruling state. 
^^ " It would be well to give the Canadians a re- 
sponsible government.1 Who is so interested in 
their welfare? who so minutely and accurately 
informed about them ? We are a colony num- 
^^ benng 1,500,000 soul,, fifty-seven years in the 
.. possession of a representative government-im- 
^^ perfect, to be sure. We feel equal to the task 
^^ and see, with the blessing of Almighty God, a 
great and prosperous future before us. Neither 
"^^ are we left without the human instraments to 
carry out the local administration of our affairs. 



*' We have men of ability sufficient "fend to spare, 
" in all the public walks of life, to' conduct with 
" credit and ability the various departments of go- 
" vernment, from the highest office to the lowest." 
" Permit me to interrupt you, m^ dear sir, for 
" a moment." hastily interrupted JJr. W., who 
by this time had brought his scattered thoughts 
to bear upon this sudden political onslaught ; being 
now compelled to forget the flowers and fountains 
of St. Paul's Bay, in which he cande to delight. 
" I think that, like certain ladies, you are speak- 
" ing of one thing and meaning another. I fear 
" that, while you talk of responsible government, 
" you mean independence ; and that is a very in- 
" discreet topic with a servant of -the English 
" crown. I am aware that it is a widely prevail- 
" ing opinion, that a total severance between the 
" mother country and her Canadian ' provinces is 
*' not very remote ; but this is only the mistake 
" of a few short-sighted and dissatisfied men. No 
" prime minister, however powerful, dares to ask 
" the sovereign and his people to set you free, 
" and part with pne of the brightest and most 
" glorious jewels of the British crown. Are you 
*' able to contend with the parent state? Are you 
" capable of prosperous self-existence? I greatly 
" doubt both. It was only through a remarkable 
" concurrence of favourable circumstances, by the 







uprising of many Americans of supreme talent 
^n the various departments of public service 
aided by a powerfujl European nation, and stiii 
^ore by the justif^e of their cause, that the 
United States were fcnabled to win their freedom 
A short and true s^ory comes into my mind on 
th.s subject. Some Loyalists waited upon Lord 
^orth ^he ministel- of the day, to explnin to 
iiim the various agencies at work in the Ame- 
rican Revolution, it^ causes and motives. Tiieir 

ttle confused. Bt^t Lord North interrupted 

I as burst h,s breeches.' You think you are 
old enough and strong enough to do the same • 
but you will find your pantaloons made of 
tougher materials. You are not ripe yet for 
elf-government; wh^n you are, I trust Eno- 

land will understand her duty, and part witli 
you in an amicable spirit." 

"No," said M. de touville Pothier; - yo„ 
never did emancipate a colony, and I fear never 
™eantodoso. Look at the millions you are 
expending on Fort D^niond, which commands 
^'e gate of the St. Lawrence, and can lav 
Quebec in ashes in tv^o hours. Look at you'r 
vast defences and navjil yard at Montreal and 
I^'"Sston ; your ship^canal8, &c. &c. These 



" seem intended to overawe the people of Canada 
" for their own good, and^to perpetuate the con- 
•• nexiou, — a connexion, let it be distinctly un- 
" derstood, I am as far as you, dear sir, from 
" wishing destroyed, and of whose benefits to us 
" I am fully convinced." 

" I am glad to find I have mistaken you," 
replied the Doctor, who now warmed in the dis- 
pute, and hastened to say, " You must see that it 
" is a connexion not only of mere interest, but 
" also of the higher feelings of duty, gratitude, 
" and honour, the breaking up of which, except 
" upon extraordinary grounds, would be a calamity 
" to both parties. In case of separation, or if you 
" remain independent, but weak, and in constant 
" fear of your powerful neighbours, you must be 
" immediately and heavily taxed. Instead of the 
" present low custom-house duties, you must pay 
•' forty per cent to meet your new expenses of 
" administration, of defence, and the local bur- 
" thens." (At present, 1849, they are twenty per 
cent below those of the United States.) 

" If you annex to the United States, the entire 
" customs and land revenues would be placed at 
" the disposal of the Federal Government for 
" general purposes, while the Canadian people 
" would be taxed directly for all local objects. 
" The control of your own revenue would be gone. 
■ The Roman Catholic bishops and clergy would 




y years they have received from the British 
but that the proprietor, of laod under the FrenM. 
" In ,u * ""y P™"* '» "he contrarv 

" tha t\r:"'r' ^-'-'"s'»'- " ■•» «» w^- 


" interest i„« T '"'*'"''' <"■ ""ional 

Jf you were to separate to-morrow a f™ 

-yers would be the chief gainers. -^'^ 

betr connexions, would till all the pub, cX, 

The great body, I think , h,,, ^^^^ *" '' 

"uffer, and would not be slow in telling ;o7:^' 

"»f a Caa"; "°"°' ^"- '"^ -«»"- affe L^a 

"I a Canadian peasant "— /'<5t,^i, i . , 
thought.) ^ r ~(SP''^'«° plainly, I 


population; you have scarcely any other re 


" Yo r L "^ '" *' *'^ ''•'■"^ «^- f--ine.» 
" asked L""^" "PP'"' ^" ^«- -«°ts. and 
"dreCf;::"^""!- P-^«P« your own iand 
^ "P the petition for this aid. I doubt 



" whether the Canadasin a state of independence 
" would have done so much, for the western people 
" are not overfond of their French compatriots. 
" The authorities of Washington, 900 miles from 
" you, would not have sent you a dollar." 

" But to descend now to a more possible and 
" less violent political change, your having re- 
" sponsible government, the management of your 
" own affairs all but uncontrolled by the Colonial 
" Office, I am sorry to say that I have misgivings, 
" sound and deep, about that measure. When I 
" think of the few per,manent residents in this 
" country, adapted by education, abilities, and 
" habits of labour, for the conscientiously dis- 
" charged burdens of office,— when I think of the 
" number of office-seekers, their poverty, love of 
" display and official distinction, I cannot but 
" foresee avast increase of what I already observe 
" too much — of heartburnings, animosities, cabal, 
" and the sacrifice of public to private interests: 
" I am not prepared to grant even this smaller 
" measure of emancipation. And I am sure you 
" will allow that the intentions of the Imperial 
" Government are kind and paternal. It has no 
" other object than your well-being, knowing 
" that it operates directly upon that of Britain. 
" And see how you have prospered ! " 

" Well, my dear sir," retorted the eager but 
still friendly Pothier, whose flushed countenance 



^l:':r';r!.?*;!™'?' «■« »^^-p«-™. 

cheeks of his wife 
" me, I do insist, 

and daughter. "But, pardon 
., , ' ''"* ^Jth perfect respect, that 

^^ we have :n Canada the requisite materials for 
self-government, and that there is a sufBciency 
^^ among us of stability, honesty, common sense! 
and knowledge. You are too hard upon us • I 
can pomt out the men." 
^^ " I concede that tf.e Colonial OfBce means well, 

" Your nffi "''^TT "^ "^"-"^ ^^ ■■-—-• 
^^ Your office peopl, know nothing about us, and 

,. °;;«™-"-Se us, as they do all the other colonies. 
They seem to havie neither sunlight nor star- 
^^ I'ght to guide them. We have had a hundred 
., ^"^««testable proofs of this. What good can 
^^ an o,er.tasked „,a^, 3000 miles off, in a back 
. l'!"? ^" ^7.^^°' ^^ ™y <=ountry? What does 
. , ^°«^/'ts wan^s, modified by climate, cus- 

. '""t' ' ^'■'•'"'^''K '' "^" ^'' ''y ^ thousand 
^^ points m statistics and topography-distracted 
^^ as he IS with the cries of forty-two other colonies ? 
^^ These thmgs are cnly known to him in the 
rough He can dij-ect and advise on general 
grounds alone, and therefore, too often erro- 
.. "^°f >'• ^«^^'d^«' 4 - like one of your church- 
^^ wardens, only a tem^^orary officer. He fears to 
^^ nieddle, and leaves the grief to grow. If we 
^^ have a sensible, useful colonial minister to-day 
he IS lost to-morrow | and we have in his place 



" an idle and ill-informed, or a speculative, hair- 
" splitting, specious man to deal with — never 
" feeling safe, and sometimes driven half-mad by 
" his fatal crotchets." 

Here Dr. Wright looked very uneasy, but held 
his peace. 

"The blunders committed at home pervade all 
" departments. The Lords of the Admiralty send 
'• water-tanks for ships sailing on a lake of the 
*' purest water in the world. The Ordnance 
" Office (or some such place) send cannon to be 
" transported from Quebec into the upper country 
" in winter; one gun costing 1700/. to take it to 
" Kingston, where, by the bye, it never arrived, 
" for it lies to this day in the woods, ten miles 
" short of its destination." 

"A man becomes a public defaulter to the 
" amount of 100,000Z. and he is rewarded with a 
" baronetcy. A seigniory worth 1500/. per an- 
" num, belonging to him, is not attached, it being 
" supposed to have been given to the son ; but 
" twenty years afterwards, a new governor, of a 
" bolder temper, seized it at once on behalf of 
" the public. 

"Administrative difficulties at present weigh 
" upon us for six months, to which a week or a 
" day here would put a period, or which never 
" would have been a difficulty at all." 




; Ple«d g„v„„o, liij: ';;^ ;^ ' P"y the per. 
" of clever ,„d fa erested" „ ™'-™P«ion 

;; -to has . pe!«l*^ad V l^e T"" " '^"''^ 

; «-. of o„r pablie offices L't'o"?' "" 
" Every vacant nlo. 7 "^ &'''«» to strangers. 

" Our peasa tv rav7' °'""" ^^""*^ ^^-^-n. 

" for use in Canada ' ' ^""^ ^^^^^^^^^d 


''^hereissoniethinronhet /^^^'' ' '^^'^^^ 


"ownyoun^r!- f P""^^^"*' therefore, our 
young ambition^ are in desoair r 
shew vou a biit,^..„j "espair. I can 

you a hundred yp„„en of family, with 



" cultivated and honourable minds, absolutely 
" running to seed for want of occupation, and 
" exasperated at finding themselves neglected. 
" These, under a better order of things, will find 
" new duties, new subsistence, and be made de- 
" voted servants of a just government. 

" It is only prudent to do what is right by the 
" Canadians, for their country is in the grasp of 
" the United States at any moment ; contingents 
" from the four nearest states would take it irre- 
" vocably in one campaign. You will remember 
" that it has become a fashion among American 
" Presidents to signalise their four years' reign by 
" some distinguished acquisition. Neither prin- 
" ciple nor their true interests will stop an excit- 
" able people like the Americans, with an ambitious 
" politician at their head." * | 

Here our worthy chief's face began to gather 
blackness. He was tired of the discussion, and 
walked to the window to gaze upon the placid 
scene close to his eye — the well-kept church, the 
presbytery, nearly smothered under one huge 
tree ; the burial-ground, full of black wooden 
crosses, hung with wreaths of amaranth and the 
tinsel gauds of humble aflPection. 

* General Winfield Scott, an able and very popular officer, has 
recently bid for the Presidency of the United States by making 
proposals tantamount to the annexation of the Canadas (1849). 

i : 





I After a little time he returnpr? f„ u- 

' recovered fea.„es, i„d Sd "m hi' "" :''" 
•■ talked en„„jh . -Iht Al,h„ K "" ^"' 


usic. — 1 se^anewpiano." 

fhe rest ofthe evening passed off well W. 
had some old Fren^-h «;r= ^ 

delicate preserved lit ' . "^ "'' '""'" ' ^^'"^ 
['ct-erved fruits and cream witl. \To.f 

^que liqueurs; and parted. ' ^''J' ^^«rtzn. 

In the passage near jthe door, while M ' Pnfh' 

was finding Dr.'. ^nf j ^'^'' 

" "o'ft s hat and stout stiVt li» 
could not help quotinjr the old P T ' 


., if f'"'' •"'■ ">- S°f ^i'." replied the Decor 
-■.y,very,eriou.,K,ha. P.ptaea„ ,„;tta 

fluenee ,o prepare for| the C.nadas - ,he da 'of 
Aughter when the tower, fall • " ^ 

Jrl"lri,T'"" ''"""' "«"' P'-« -an, 


opposition. T ' "'"'"•»'= 

While walling. k„„,. „^ ,y„.^„^^_ ^ ^^_^^^^^___^ 


Old man, shewed many signs of disturbance. He 
declared he was not prepared for such an attack 
irom a man never heard of in the House of 

" It shews that there is not only discontent, 
but power, out of sight. The worst of it is, that 
there ,s much truth in what he says. Do you 
thmk they will ever try an open insurrection v 
^^ " Yes, s.r," I said ; " the men who are planning 
^^ It are known even now. Politicians and sol- 
diers spring up in a new country before philo- 
^ sophers and poets. They have seventy thousand 
^^ tamted militiamen, and a hardy peasantry. 
There will be no want of generals. Permit me 
- " dear sir, to say that you manifested great taci 
" and prowess in this very unexpected skirmish " 
If I am to be allowed to express my own 
humble opinion, I should say that at the present 
hour the Canadians have obtained in responsible 
government all that a sensible people can require 
for their real good ; but that as soon as they are " 
able to stand comfortably alone, and can shew 
that three-fourths of the population desire it, we 
should amicably set them free, with certain pay- 
ments for fortifications, and not without a treaty 
of alliance. 

This should be done because it is right, in 
defiance of an apparent expediency. Nations'are 

VOL. I. . 

■ 11 




as n^uch bound to act on the Christian principle 

Plausible reasons Igainst such a policy are not 
wanting, such as that it would be a^natio" 
dishonour that Canada is an outlet for our surplus 
people and our manufactures, a nursery for our 
sadors. &c, but, of necessity, so it would'ren,.: 
We should be no losors. What have we lost by 
the emanapation of the United States? Thev 

foldT'^lr'^^' ^°' "^^^^ ""-"-^ ^-"ty! 
fold Two shdhngs la-month of additional pay 
would fill our navy w th the finest seamen in the 
world ; and the Canadians are far too shrewd not 
to buy in the cheapest market and sell in the 
dearest. As to the dishonour, I see none, havin<. 
for some time a stro.g feeling upon the sin of 
dommatmg over more tribes and wider regions 
than can be superintended beneficially. For this I 
fear, more empires than one will on a certain dly 
be awfully rebuked. ' 

I am much inclined to agree with Sir Henry 
Parnell when he says, that " the possession of 
colonies affords no advantages which could not be 
obtained by commercial intercourse with inde- 
pendent states," 

Mr. William GladstoJe, speaking in the House 
of Commons (April 1849) of a wise system of 



colonisation, says, "Then the connexion between 
" the dependency and the mother country will 
" subsist as long as it is good for either ; and 
" when it ceases. I hope the time will come when 
" the separation shall take place, not violently, 
" but by the natural operation and vigour of its 
" energies, to suit it for a state of self-government 
" and of independence; and then there may still 
"subsist that similarity of laws, feelings, and 
" institutions, which are infinitely more valuable 
" than any political connexion whatever. (Hear 
"hear!)" ' 

Foreigners (Castelnau, « Vues et Souvenirs 
de I'Am^rique du Nord ")' already perceive that 
the separation we are speaking of is certain, and 
a mere matter of time. 

If a general and well-planned attempt to shake 
off the allegiance to Great Britain were to occur, 
I have great fear for the issue. 

The population of the Canadas is numerous, 
rich, intelligent, and warlike. Then, again* 
nothing could prevent the idle young men o'f the 
United States (full of meat and of pothouse glory, 
shabby and false, acquired among the Indian 
levies and distractions of Mexico) from helping, 
and eventually dragging the great Confederacy 
Itself into the contest, to the sincere grief of all 
considerate persons. I regret to say that the 


! i 

ii '. 

) ' 



peaceful and high-minded blacksmith, Elihu 

Burritt, is but a sorry representative of the 

American public (1849). 
Early in the evening of the next day we left 

this sweet valley, of which the best drawings give 

a very inadequate notion. 

We again and again thanked our kind hosts, 

the Rousseaus, who, I repeat, would hear of no 
remuneration. The only return ever made to 
them was in the form of a champagne dinner 
to the eldest son during one of his rare visits to 

An excellent boat, with civil boatmen, con- 
veyed us swiftly across the St. Lawrence to its 
opposite or southern shore, a traverse (12-16 
miles) of rough \tater8, as they proved to us, 
studded with pilot and fishing-boats, with now 
and then a large European vessel, under whose 
bows we shot, while their passengers leaned 
curiously over the bulwarks, and up among the 
rigging, to examine us. 

After having got a-ground, near the shore, in 
the mud, and there remained in the dark for an 
hour and a half, we landed in the parish of 
St. Anne, and fouiid shelter in a cottage hard 
by. It afforded u^ only one small, sweltering 
bed-room; we (the two young folk), therefore, 
after a supper of black bread, bacon, and a 

■ »r 



decoction of burnt beans (called coffee), retired 
to a bam full of fragrant hay, where we slept 
very comfortably in our clothes. But the next 
morning we were much' grieved to find that our 
chief , had suffered a small martyrdom under the 
combined -assaults of insects, heavy bed-clothes, 
and bad diet. So disconcerted was he that, 
having procured with some difficulty a calash, 
he started forthwith for Quebec, taking with him 
my friend Ritchie. 

He did well. It is only for the young to go 
on tramp in a country without inns. Water from 
a dirty lake is neither wJholesome nor palateable 
after iced, champagne/ every; ^day. I was now 
alone, with a few necessaries, in a little bag, 
trudging on foot towards the small town of 
St. Thomas, distant twenty-one miles. 

I foiind this part of the south shore of the St. 
Lawrence broken up into low, rocky ridges (of in- 
clined clay-slate and conglomerate),. with smiling 
corn-fields in the intervals, the crO'ps of wheat 
astonishingly fine. Here and there along the 
road, and near the houses, the dropping wyche- 
elms were large, and almost artistically planted. 
— Plate represents a scene in the parish of 

After three hours' brisk walking I was cheered by 
being told I was within six miles of St. Thomas, 



and as much mortified when, after an hour's 
further march, I found I had yet eight miles 
to go. 

In due season I arrived, and at the entrance of 
the town crossed two bridges over the River du 
Sud, evidently a large body of water in winter 
from the breadth of its bed. 

I had scarcely heard of this little place. It 
has a thousand inhabitants, among whom I saw 
many cheerful faces in its four or five short 
streets. The houses were in the roomy, heavy 
French style, in good repair, and white-washed. 
The environs are woody. It is the market-town 
for a considerable interior, and has mills. 

The next day I plodded on to Beaumont. It 
was a Roman Catholic fete-day. I must have met 
the entire population of the neighbourhood on their 
way to church, some on foot, some in calashes, all 
looking happy and well-attired. I wish that we 
Protestants would mix a more social spirit with 
the practical part of our religion. We might, on 
the anniversaries of missionary and benevolent 
institutions, for instance. 

The whole country, from St. Thomas to Beau- 
mont, perhaps eighteen miles, is very pleasing, 
and is spread out in grass and corn-fields, with 
young woods of pine and birch on terraces, just 
high enough to shelter the cultivated land. The 



road usually skirts the St. Lawrence, and is a 
series of long ascents and descents. 

The seigniory of St. Michael is soon attained, 
and looks beautifully as we approach from the 
east. Stretching far into the interior we see a 
broad valley, alive with an industrious popula- 
tion, through which, during summer, a scanty 
river wanders, but which, in spring, is an abound- 
ing torrent. | 

On the west side of the village of St. Michael 
the road rises, and we see in front of us the 
strongholds of Quebec, faint and blue in the dis- 
tance. Southerly (to the left) we have the dark 
pine-ridges of Lauzon, skirted by fine meadows. 
On the north-west is the large isle of Orleans, 
and the broad St. Lawrence, with a solitary ship, 
perhaps, labouring on its bosom. 

I happily arrived at Beaumont just as a very 
severe and protracted thunder-storm broke over 
our heads. i 

Near this village, on a woody cliflr, over- 
hanging the St. Lawrence, is an incomparable 
little inn, something like the best on the lakes of 
Cumberland, redolent of roses and honeysuckles, 
picturesque, wholesome — neatness itself — larder 
excellent. I recommend it, and its pleasant walks, 
to those who wish to spend a convalescence, or 
a still more pleasing period, in the country. It 


Ql rEBEC. 

is Cor was) kept by a worthy Scotch family of the 
name of Fraser. 

I took a carriage fJom Beaumont to, Quebec 
fourteen miles, the last half-dozen of which are' 
varj.d rocky and high, or running into dells. 
Habitations, farms, and gardens, covered the 
country which was full of the agreeable cries of 
Fgs and poultry, and cattle of all sorts, growing 
up for the market of Quebec nigh at hand 
I W passed PointXevi, with its pretty Ro- 

-an Cathoic church fn a nook, hav'e left the 
uplands, and am at the Quebec Ferry, at the foot 
of a crumbling precipice, crowned with pines 
and a Protestant church with a handsome tower. 
Ihe nver is crossed and Quebec is entered 

I need not say that, gravel-stained and rather 
earv. flio /.;*,, _.:^l •. . 

weary, the city, with 

its tumultuous summer 

— """"iiuvFus summer 
commerce, was very welcome, and so was the easy 
chair m mine inn; and no less so the cordial 
greetmgs of the presiding lady, Mrs. Wilson, 
whose good deeds in my behalf may I never 
forget ! 



Steam Voyage to Kamouraska — Company on board — Anecdotes — 
Migrating Spiders — Kamouraska — Cross to Malbay in an open 
Boat — The Brassard Family — Malbay — Curious Mounds — 
Valley of St. Etieune, a deserted Lake — Singular Fog — Earth- 
quakes — the Musician — Anecdotes — Peasantry — Aimee's Toilet 
— Salmon River — Lake St. John — Homeward on foot by North 
Shore of St. Lawrence — Eboulements — Hospitality. 
^ • I 

After due refreshment, a fortnight after the last 
excursion, I started in a steamer for Kamouraska 
and Malbay, situated on the St. Lawrence, oppo- 
site to each other, thirty miles below St. Paul's 
Bay, and therefore ninety miles below Quebec, 
Kamouraska being a little sea-bathing place, 
while Malbay is a secluded seigniory of great 
interest, occupying a valley among the hills of 
the north shore. 

My intention was to go first to the bathing- 
place, then cross over to the opposite shore, and 
work my way on foot to Quebec among the moun- 
tains and partially-cultivated districts bordering 
the river. 




European steam-boats are unclean tubs in 
comparison with thos^ we meet with in America. 
It was early in October that I stepped on board 
a splendid vessel, bound to Kamouraska on a 
pleasure excursion, with a gentlemanly captain 
and an obliging steward. 

The morning mist promised a warm day • the 
air was fresh and elastic, such as can only be felt 
in a region where man cannot infect-where he 
IS to surrounding nature as the bee to the wide 

A steam-boat is eveiry where a Noah's ark, to 
which the neighbourhood sends representatives 
ofjch of its classes, trith a few stragglers from 

So we had a fev^ officers of the garrison of 
Quebec with their wiVes; Mrs. Thomas Scott. 
of the 70th regiment, «nd her fine family ; she 
was sister-in-law to Si)- Walter Scott, the poet 
and novelist.. There wele some merchant families 
with well-stored baskets, the English from Mont- 
Teal, the French from Quebec. We had likewise 
some stray American tofjrists, who, I am glad to 
say, every summer flock in great numbers to the 

The American, while joung, stands out here in 
strong relief. He is instantly recognised by his 
abrupt address, wiry, najsal tones, his long, pale 



face, straight hair, loose gait, and unbrushed 
hat.* The French Canadians of the middle or 
upper classes have short lively faces, with dark 
complexions, and they are apt to be rather negli- 
gent of their attire. The British officers on 
board, in their belted blue surtouts and foraging 
caps, were, as all the world over, gentlemen ; a 
thought too reserved perhaps, being usually too 

* This crusty exterior very often conceals a well-trained intellect, 
a gallant and susceptible heart. Many such have I met with, 
especially at PhUadeliihia. 

Some parts of the United States have a bad character. 

I went one spring to Yale College, Newhaven, to read there for 
a few weeks. In searching for lodgings, I found a quiet street 
behind the College. 

Entering by an open door one of the houses, which had " Lodg- 
ings to let," in the windows, I was immediately met by an active, 
middle-aged woman. 

" Have the goodness, madam," I s£ud, " to shew me the rooms 
which are to be let." 

" I won't," she replied, with a face on fire : " I know who you 

" I think you do not," was ray answer, and was about to 
explain further, when she rushed in upon me with, — 

"I do know you. You are an impudent Virginian, with 
your tobacco, your brandy, and dirty nigger servants. If I were 
to let you my rooms, you and your fellows would give us Satan's 
delights every hour of the twenty-four." 

I had opened my mouth to tell her I was an Englishman, &e., 
but she shouted, " Get out of this !" so vehemently that I was glad 
to run away. 

This good woman must hare had very bad luck in her inmates, 
for which all Virginia is not to be blamed. When far from home, 
with a well-lined purse, bachelors' revelries are apt to be inex- 
cusably "funny and free." 




subhme to begin a conversation with a stran<.er 
We except the happy and thoughtless subs. 

Among our American companions were two 
charmmg s.sters from Boston. United States 
cl;tr^""^^^^-^^---"^^^e genera! 

" So shews a snowy dove tn,opi„g with crows, 
As yonder lady o'(T her fellows." 

They were truly lady-Jike and beautiful, each in 
Ler own way: the elder was calm and queenly, 
while the younger, scarcely seventeen, of a more 
slender form, was all movement and grace. Their 
father accompanied them. I had the pleasure 
their previous acquaintance in descending the 
rapids of the St. Lawrence with them 

We stopped at the Ipwer end of the island of 
Orleans to allow us to wander among the pretty 
thickets of nut-trees and beech, for which the 
place IS noted. In an hour the signal-gun called 
in the wanderers, and all came but one couple- 
the younger American fair and a handsome youn<. 
officer-and they made their appearance in a few 
minutes, flushed with running. The flush was 
not a httle heightened when the excellent band 
on board struck up a tlien popular air, "Will 
you come to the Bower X've shaded for you?" ia 
allusion to the gentlemanis name. 
We were soon off. With a tide of six miles an 



hour in our favour we swi/tly passed the succes- 
sive islets below that of Orleans, amid the mixed 
scenery of rock, water, and shipping, which had 
so much delighted me on my first entrance into 

So numerous a company must be expected to 
contain some very volatile young men. One of 
these pointed out to me a female figure in the 
deepest widow's weeds, sitting with her back to 
«s near the stern. •' Take an opportunity," said 
he, "of looking into that lady's face. You will 
be repaid." I did so ; but instead of a bowed 
lily, all beauty and resignation, I was shocked 
to see under the pretty mourning-gear a square 
sallow face, pock-marked, with a slight hare- 
lip, and a red, sullen eye, like that of a baflfled 
tiger-cat. "A widow, you see," said the lieu- 
tenant. " What could the poor man do but die ? 
It was the only move." I turned away from him, 
thinking his wit vastly out of place. But it was 
a fearful physiognomy. 

When half-way on our voyage we were much 
surprised by seeing, high in the air, streaming 
across the St. Lawrence, a number of grey, fleecy, 
island-like masses, each an acre or more in ex- 
tent, in oblong sheets, torn as it were, and too 
thin and filmy for clouds. As portions now and 
then dropped on our deck, we found that it was 



a migrating party of small black spiders, every 
one upon his own long grey string or web. In a 
quarter of an hour they passed out of sight. I 
had seen the san^e before, but not in such 

Where was this army going ? Was it pursued 
or pursuing? By what imperious instinct were 
1^ members impelled to start on a given day ? 
Who are their leaders? Are thev elders who 
nave made the journey before ? 

They seemed bound to the great lake of St 
John m the north, perhaps to make war upon the 
little black fly. whose sting is red-hot torture, 
and which loves the warm sands of a lake shore • 
or were they only going to burrow and breed 
there in peace 1 He that prepared a path for this 
in'ghty nver, and gave wings to His angels, had 
prepared theirs. 

The land crab of jLaica has a curious provi- 
sion for his journey to and from the sea to his 
mountams. His bran<:hi^ (which serve as lungs) 
are of use only in water. They therefore float in 
water.bags provided fbr that occasion only and 
so operate the necessary change upon the blood. 
To withm a minute of the appointed time we 

tion, v^^. p. 27'r ' t "*""" *° Entomology, sixth edi- 



came to anchor at Kamouraska, before a row of 
fifty neat-looking houses on a bank a mile long. 
This little port is formed by a shallow bay, de- 
fended from without by several rocky islets. 

Our party rapidly dispersed, some to cross to 
the opposite shore, some merely to run about 
until the steamer returned, and others, with my- 
self among the number, to obtain shelter in some 
boarding-house. | 

I was fortunate in my selection. I found some 
agreeable French society with whom to pass the 
evenings. The first thing I caught sight of in 
the " Salon " was a good guitar, which was often 
and agreeably played by a lady from Montreal, 
or it might have been from the Faubourg St. 
Honore, so well did she preserve the traditionary 
manner and costume of France. 

I have little to say of Kamouraska. It answers 
its purpose to the Canadian gentry. The waters 
of the St. Lawrence are salt ; but dipping, as the 
bank does at each end, in extensive cranberry 
marshes, with here and there groups of bare, low 
rocks, I should fear malaria. In the back country- 
are ranges of high, naked hills, j 

The view from our windows was very cheerful. 
The St. Lawrence, eighteen miles broad, is always, 
in summer, alive with shipping and pilot-boats. 
The opposite shore is very steep and high, and 



casts a deep shadow far into' the waters. It is a 
sort of cloud-land, and seldom wears the same 
face for a couple of hours together. 

I left Kamouraska, with its grand Indian name, 
on the third day for Malbay. Some peasant fish- 
ermen engaged to take me there in an open boat. 
We left at noon^ with a gentle and favouring 
breeze, which in an hour veered round in our 
teeth. We now made long tacks for several hours, 
and at the wrong end of a long stretch we lost 
the little wind we had. All that autumn night 
we toiled at the oar, not perhaps with the vigour 
of a post-captain's boat's crew, but we toiled, and 
fetched bay and river at three next morning. 

I was left in the dark of a raw foggy morning, 
with my small baggage, oi| the muddy beach, 
cramped, cold, and hungry^ I was told truly, 
that save at Kamouraska there was no inn within 
sixty miles ; but that about six o'clock I would be 
kindly received at Antoine Brassard's, a peasant, 
whose one-chimneyed house, on the bank above 
me, was just discernible as a dim black mass. 

While waiting, like a forgotten ghost, shivering 
on that bleak shore, I cannot say that I took 
much delight in the concert around me of low- 
ings, and bleatings, and barkings, by which ani- 
mals express their wish for the sun, and which 
poets say are so delicious in early mom. 



While sitting on my bag, chin on breast, I had 
one or two ugly frights from the swoop of a sea 
bird, who at that indistinct hour fancied I mio-ht 
be eatable. But day-light and six o'clock came 
punctually, and I was readily and politely received 
by Monsieur and Madame Brassard. They were 
obliging people : great was the stir they made for 
me. I was allowed to warm myself for a few 
minutes, and then requested to go to bed while 
breakfast was preparing. | 

Following my stout hostess and one or two 
stumpy laughing daughters, I ascended into the 
cock-loft, where was my bed for that nonce. 

" Get out of that. Granny," cried my con- 
ductress. "What's to get out?" said I; « and 
from where?" "From Granny's bed, sir, and 
she's in it." I intreated that she should not be 
disturbed, and the more vehemently as the dim 
light showed that the chocolate-coloured sheets 
had never been washed since the days of MoiU- 
calm ; and that Granny, on rising promptly to 
the call, was a most mummified creature, whose 
parchment skin reminded me of Ziska's when it 
headed a drum. Yet I afterwards found that this 
extremely aged and decrepit woman, weary of 
life perhaps, had no small share of feeling and 
intelligence ; and as is usual, vastly to the credit 
of all semi-civilized or barbarous people, was 

VOL. I. Q 



kindly and fespectfuily treated. So I descended 
to breakfast, and then walked out. 
.1 found Malbay, or Morray-bay, as the Sdgnior 
tike» to have st called, a round indenture in the 
tiorth shore of tKe St. Lawrence, abont two miles 
in outer diaudeter, over^ng by steep, pine-clad 
hills, at whose feet (in the bay) are grassy diluvial 
terraces, on which stand 6ome| houses and a neat 
ehorch. i r < ,; i, ...'.. 'i I- 

Near a principal house on the west side of the 
bay is a remarkable assemblage of detached bar- 
ro\r-Uke mounds, from ten to twenty feet high, 
covered with! shrubbfeiy. They are on a level 
with tide»water, and seem to have been deposited 
at the neutral points of conflicting currents in 
another state' of things.* I 

A considerable breach about the centre of the 
rampart of hills permits the noisy River Malbay 
to join the St. Lai^rence, and discloses in the rear 
a Jow country call^ the Valley of St. Etienne, 
sheltered on ail sides by. mountains. 

This .valley isr riot only picturesque, but highly 
int^rteting to the geologisi It has, in fact, been 
thebefd bla lake which has undergone more than 

* Jt^ia .wortlt iiotiqpg, %a>i, a. Vttle l^yond the east comer of 
th« bay there is a pripiitiye rock so full of garnet crystals, of the 
vniuiaal size of an infant'^ head, that the original rock is almost 
•bliterated. Fine specimens could only be obtained by blasting. 


i I 



one depression in level, possibly by successive 
lowerings in its side or rim at the present outlet. 
The vestiges of this are yet very evident. 

Having given a sketch of this valley, I hardly 
need be more particular than to say that it runs 
north and south for six miles, with a breadth 
exceeding a mile (at a guess), and is a straight, 
uneven, strip of land, with the shifting bed of the 
Malbay in the centre, and certain horizontal ter- 
races on the flanks around. 

These terraces may be described thus. On the 
eastern uplands, about 500 feet above the river, 
a flat and uniform embankment, like a regularly- 
made carriage-road, a few yards broad, runs along 
the whole length of the valley, cut through at 
intervals by winter torrents. At a given and uni- 
form distance below this comes another terrace 
and bank correspondingly breached, and descend- 
ing swiftly down to the broken ground and tumuli 
of gravel and clay near the river. These ancient 
shores pass all round the valley, but perhaps not 
quite so perfect and striking on its west side.* 

• These beaches must have been deposited slowly, trtmqailly, 
under water, and when the district was at a different level fiom the 
present ; for water at the level of this day would drown four-fifths 
of America. 

The lofty beaches of St. Etienne I could not examine with care, 
but the materials composing those of the river Notawasaga in Lake 
Huron are laid down horizontally, and often in thin strata, the 



At the upper and north-east end of the valley- 
there, is: a very large breach in these terraces (with 
perpendicular sides), w hich is lost sight of in the 
woods of the interior, i It is evidently the bed of a 
great stream (the ancient river, probably) feeding 
the lost lake. (Vide Plan in Append, vol. ii.) 
, r cannot but think that its powerful current 
has scooped out a notiijeable feature in the valley 
yet to be mentioned. [It is the great bowl-shaped 
hollow, evidently a deteerted bay, which we find 
at the north-west corjier of the valley, opposite 
the bed of' the ancient river just referred to. It 
is half a league in dianjeter, with very steep sides, 
terraced like the rest df the valley. 

I never read of (except the Coquimbo and 
Glenroy Roads), or saw, any spot exhibiting so 
beautiful and compact a record of those times when 
not only this little valley, but all North America, 
was comparatively a drowned land, tenanted chiefly 
by aquatic and amphibious animals. Whether this 

shells being identical with those now existing in the lake in perfect 
preservation,' the bivalves beiiig either empty or filled with smaller 
shells and sand. 

■ The large terraces of the noith shore of Lake Superior are com- 
posed of small fragment's of the roekt of the vicinity, in the state 
of rough grit (or bowlders) sometimes confused, at others in hori- 
zontal sheets. The number of terraces varies in the space of a mile, 
sometimes from one to six : wihy, I could not discover. I suppose 
that slow elevation and the desiccation consequent on the loss of 
feeders have produced the present levels of the great lakes, &c. 




continent has been drained by breaching, or by a 
general change of level, we must not here discuss. 
I cannot help thinking how delighted the amiable 
and gifted Dean Buckland would be to look over 
this clear page of nature, followed by his galloping 
squadron of eager pupils. 

The river of the present day enters the valley 
by a waterfall at its upper end, at some distance 
from the ancient river bed, and at the head of a 
woody ravine, whither I followed up the river at 
the expense of many a fall and many a rent. 

About a couple of miles beyond Etienne, and 
separated from it by high grounds partly culti- 
vated, is a small lake, one of many hereabouts, 
full of delicate trout. This lake is bounded on 
one side by precipices, and elsewhere by woods 
and clearances, backed by sugar-loaf mountains. 

The materials for these sketches and descrip- 
tions I obtained in the course of five days, and 
chiefly on foot. I was prevented from doing any 
thing on the second day by an extraordinary fog 
of a deep coffee colour, lasting the whole day, 
and requiring in-doors strong artificial light. On 
walking out I could not see objects three yards 
off. I descended to the beach and saw nothiner. I 
only heard the ripple and lazy plash of the wave. I 
have not seen any London fog at all equal to this 
in density. It left no deposit, and had no smell. 





The celebrated dark days of Canada, in 1785 
and 1814, were almost certainly caused by the 
eruptions of distant volcanoes, coinciding in time 
with local thunderstorms.* 

By the Hon. Chief-Justice 

Sel'n ""p ''^,''"1°''^^ °f Canada." , „, .„, „„„. ^,,et-Justice 
Sewell, President L.terary Historical ^ociety of Quebec, Tol.iL 

but which had dispersed by ten a.m., bla|ck clouds rapidly advanced 
on Quebec from the north-east, and by 10= 30' it wa. so dark that 
ordinary pnnt could not be read. This lasted for upwards of ten 
: minutes, and wa. succeeded by a violent gust of wind, with rain, 
thunder, and lightning ; after which the weather became brighter 
nntil twelve o'clock, when a second period of so much obscurit; 
took pkce that lights were used in all <he churches. Other pe. 
nods of obscurity came on at two, three, and half-past four p m 
dunng which times the darkness was perfect-that of midnight. "' 
During aU these hours vast masses of clouds, of a yellow 
colour, drove from north-east to south-w«st, with much thunder, 
bghtmng, and rain. The periods of toW darkness were ten mi. 
nntes, the mtervals affording but little %ht.-(Barometer 29° 5' 
thermometer 52° 50'.— Da. Sparke. ) 

"The rain-water was very black, and Upon its surface a yeUow 
powder, sulphur, was found. 

"These appearances occurred also ai Montreal, but did not 
begm tiU two P.M. They extended fron, Fredericton, North Bri- 
tain, to Montreal. 'uion- 

IJS^SL^''" ^l °f ^"'^ '' ''"' ''^ »"* '"^^ ^^^^ ^ that of 
1/85 There was darkness, continuous, with fall of sand and ashes. 

fomJdk^ ""^ eye-witness to this off the banks of New- 

" Charlevoix says that it rained cindeis for six houis, in 1663, 
at Tadoussac on the River Saguenay, thirty mUes below Malbay. 
rain ^fZ ^' '^ "^ November, 1819, , very remarkable bl^k 
IZJlly, r'^ ' "'='='"»P'"'«'» ^r walling thunder. It wa. 
preceded by dark and gloomy weather, experienced all over the 



Malbay is often overcast in this manner; 
why I cannot say. It is also remarkable for fre- 
quent earthquakes according to numerous testi- 
monies, of which that of Captain Baddeley, R.E. 
(at second-hand), is the most recent. 

While at Malbay, on a tour made by order of 
Government, he was informed by Mr. and Mrs. 

At times the aspect of the sky was grand and 

United States, 

" In Montreal the darkness was very great, particulariy on a 
Sunday morning. The whole atmosphere appeared as if covered 
with a thick haze of a dingy orange colour, during which ram fell of 
a thick and dark inky appearance, and apparently impregnated 
with some black substance resembling soot. 

" At this period many conjectures were afloat, among which that 
of a volcano having broken out in some distant quarter. The 
weather after this became pleasant until the Tuesday foUowing, 
when, at twelve o'clock, a heavy damp vapour enveloped the whole 
city ; it then became necessary to light candles in all the houses 
and butchers' stalls. 

" The appearance was awful and grand in the extreme. A little 
before three o'clock a slight shock of an earthquake was felt, ac- 
companied by a noise resembUng the distant discharge of artillery. 
It was now that the increasing gloom engrossed universal atten- 

"At 3° 20', when the darkness seemed to have reached its 
greatest depth, the whole city was mstantaneously illuminated by 
the most vivid flash of lightning ever witnessed in Montreal, 
immediately foUowed by a peal of thunder so loud and near as to 
shake the strongest buildings to their foundations, which was fol- 
lowed by other peals, and accompanied by a heavy shower of rain 
of the colour above described. 

" After four p.m. the heavens began to assume a brighter ap- 
pearance, and fear graduaUy subsided."— Thompson's Meteor- 






THE music; an. 

M'Nicol, who reside there, that shocks are most 
frequent in January and February, and occur 
nine or ten times a-year, most generally in the 
night, being accompanied by changeable weather. 
Their direction seems north-twest, the shock last- 
ing one minute. 

Notice is generally given by a noise like that 
of a chimney on fire, followed by two distinct 

During the day ofcofTee-cojoured fog, of which 
I have been speaking, and which was local, I 
was reading in a little bed-iloset, more like a 
bulge in a crazy- wall than a room, when I 
suddenly heard, within the house, two or three 
short, delicious strokes of a fi(Jdle-bow, succeeded 
immediately by a masterly e:^ecution, on one of 
Amati's best violins, of " Ijfel Silenzio," that 

in " II Crociato," 

mysterious and mournful air 

which again instantly ran off Into one of the ga'y 
galloping melodies of Rossini. 

Such music in a hut.'-su^h wild capriccios, 
and passionate complainings, ifi the murky air of 
an American wilderness, astouijded me. Rushincr 
to see whence it came, I found in the livin-! 
room (kitchen, &c.) of the house, playing to the 
family and some gossips, a slender, pale young 





man, in corduroy and fustian. I need not say 
that the violin did not cease ; but that the musi- 
cian received a reward, humble indeed, but in 
proportion to the means of his Mecaenas. 

He was a thoughtless, and possibly a dissipated, 
London artist, named Nokes, on a free ramble 
through the Western world, and subsisting on 
his yiolin. 

He had been to Kamouraska, which, having 
proved neither Brighton nor Ramsgate, he was 
working back to Quebec, not knowing whether 
the next stage would bring him to a city or a 

I afterwards formed a part of a delighted 
audience at Quebec, at a concert given by him 
and a M. :^arraud, who, on a similar occasion, 
soon afterwards, at New York, acted as money- 
taker at the door, and left the city abruptly with 
all the proceeds.* 


* Most musical people seem bit with the gad-fly. They embark 
for distant lands at an hour's notice. Huerta, the splendid 
guitarist, of St. Sebastian, met at Havre some Americans who 
were to embark the very same day for New York. They asked 
him to accompany them. He agreed, bought a few shirts, and 
the next day found him sea-sick in a packet-ship, his guitar 
hanging on a peg. 

I was present at the crowded concert he gave on his arrival at 
New York. He made the large hall ring and echo with his Riego's 
March and Spanish Boleros. 

In the fifth row from the front there sat a very young Italian 




I go on to say that the soli of Malbav is indif- 
ferent, frequently all sand or all clay, and seldom 
level. All kinds of grain ripen late. Indian 
corn IS hardly worth sowingL and tobacco often 
small and stunted. 

The inhabitants are wholly without school- 
education. There is no medical man, lawyer or 
tavern-keeper, but two or three shoemakers, and 
five shopkeepers (1823). 

The priest has the love and l-espect of his flock 
although he does not permit dancing. 

The peasantry live hard, bu^ are Active, cheer- 
fill, and obliging. Marriages are early and pro- 
hfic. There were but two childless couples out 
of 450, at my visit, and they were wondered at 

It IS not uncommon for aged people to give up 
their httle property to their children, reserving a 
rent. I saw an example of this near the village- 
bridge. The house was the neatest in the place 
small, but conspicuous in red, black, and white 
paint, with a garden of roses arid balsams on one 

girl, the daughter of a miniature painter, joyoug, fair, a,«l mnacal 
She was dehghted with Huerta and his guitar. Th;ee day"?^.' 
-J she was a married dame, and the guitar h«I to carry'do^e 
-aU very m^prudent and naughty; but J sometimjftink that 
^psy sadors and young couples have a kind Providence of t^ 

Je^ fr«y meet with great musical" talent in the mot 




side, and a considerable patch of ground planted 
with onions and cabbages on the other. My 
guide did not approve of this custom. 

I saw a good deal of itch in the place ; and 
now and then the sivvens, a very disgusting 
disease, makes its appearance. They are a dirty 

Milk, black or brown bread, and soups, form 
the staple diet of the people all the year round ; 
but in the months of August and September they 
live much upon bilberries, raspberries, and thin 
milk — and so did I while among them — a very 
cooling diet; and not likely to give any one "the 
burning palm, the head which beats at night 
upon its pillow with dreams adventurous," as 
Wordsworth speaks. | | 

With the exception of a few near the church, 
the houses in the valley of St. Etienne were the 
best; but to my English eye many appeared 
small and neglected, with little or no garden. 

I visited a small farmer's establishment, five 
miles up the valley, relations of my host, and 
was pleased with its tidiness and family harmony. 
They had collected from the rocky wilds around 
immense pans full of bilberries for food. 

The young people, men and women, showed 
no shyness, although their threshold cannot be 
crossed by a stranger once in twenty years ; and 



the Malbay peasantry. Nothing could be more 

I aw nothing my business ]ying with hills and 
vail ys more than with my fallow-men. 

and bofr°" ''"""'^"^ ^'•-^-d for lod^in. 
and board -poor, simple ^oman.'-were ^er^ 


ws. filled her moi^;:;,:te;LTndip;:r 

7 I '^'l ^- ^-d«. -ost economiel y tas d 
also h f,,, J ^,^^^^^^^ ^^ ^ thought of hr 

-dk and cookery, and resolv.d on insLt fli'h 

to a Ian where water was les3 precious. "- 

i ought here to say, that on my fourth dav in 
these distr cts I wpnt in o i, . • ^ " 

down the Sf T * "'"" "^^^^« ^"''tlie'- 

Z . ; '''°''' *" *H River - des Trois 

Saumons. along an iron-bound coast. 

Ihis ,3 a savage river, abounding in salmon 
and escapes from the ru-<.ed intPrl V u 
deep ravine Th. . * "^^ through a 

On / r^ ''"' ""'' q-^'^e melo-dramatic 

On a naked rock in the troubled waters was a 




hut, hung round with dusky nets. At the door 
stood an unshaven, bronzed fisherman. Close 
upon us were white marble rocks, high and inter- 
leaved with more common primitive strata, with 
a screen of woods over all. | 

I spent a long hot night here for the benefit 
of hosts of mosquitoes, and began to feel geoWy 
a rude trade, saying, with St. Bernard, " Je me 
vois un petit oiseau, sans plumes, presque toujours 
hors de son nid, expose aux orages." 

I am sorry I have no sketch of this wild spot ; 
and at the time greatly desired, in spite of 
mosquitoes and rude waters, to have gone some 
thirty miles further down, to the magnificent 
River Saguenay, but it was impossible. 

West and south-west from the Lake of St. John, 
sixty leagues up the Saguenay from the St. Law- 
rence, there are several millions of acres of 
valuable land, fit for immediate settlement, with 
a remarkably healthy climate, resembling that of 
Montreal, according to Government-surveyors. 
. At the old Jesuit establishment on this lake, 
three hundred acres have formerly been in culti- 
vation ; but at present it is running wild. (Captain 
Baddeley, R.E.) In attempting a mission in a 
scarcely-inhabited country, dreary, distant, and 
Siberian in climate (whatever may be said to 
the contrary), the inexorable fathers must have 




had strongly on their minds the axiom of their 
founder, " He who desires to do great thinc^ 
for God must not bq too prudent" (nor seff- 
. sparing). So I departed from Malbay, and not 
without regret. 

I took my way on f<tot up the north shore of 
the St. Lawrence towards Quebec, and after many 
a pamful step for eighteen miles I reached towards 
evemng the little village of the Eboulements, so 
called from the prevalence there of earthquakes. 
The road from Malbay, such as it is, leads chiefly 
over mountain slopes aijd into deep gullies • but 
sometimes likewise along the river beach. Five 
miles from Malbay there is a sawmill in a pic- 
turesque gully, whose stream is choked with larc^e 
erratic blocks. The slopes are more or less under 
cultivation. The white dwellings seemed numer- 
ous, being 250 at the time of my visit, but not goin- 
far back mto the interior. These heights afford 
magnificent and ever-changing landscapes. On 
my right the inland country rose into mountain 
peaks, naked or scantily fcovered, except on their 
flanks and in the ravines, where the trees are fine 
and plentiful. On my left the St. Lawrence 
rolled at my feet. On iU surface a ship was a 
speck. Its near or north shore is always bluff or 
precipitous, while the sduth shore is low and 
populous, swelling slowljf into faintly-discerned 




hills. If the spectator be near the village of 
the . Eboukmentis, the eye is conducted for forty 
miles up the river along the successive promon- 
tories of Cape Corbeau, de la Bale, Petite Riviere, 
and TDurmeJat, which last dips at once from a 
height of. 1900 feet into the water, to where the 
rich island of Orleans and its attendant islets 
terminate the view. (See Plate.) 

The highland districts, in which I now am, are 
remarkable for one feature which must not be left 
unnoticed. They are everywhere more or less 
buried in fragments of the underlying rock, Mith 
very few travelled rocks among them. There is 
good reason t© believe that it is the freezing of 
the crevice-water which has thus deeply split up 
this rather slaty quartzose rock. 

In many places this debris covers not only rock, 
but soil several feet deep. With immense labour, 
therefore, the peasant collects the stones into 
mounds of almost incredible number and size 
before he can have a blade of corn or of grass. 
I saw on my road two narrow gullies, 300 feet 
deep, entirely faced with them, and the rivulets 
buried out of sight. These splinters of rock are 
not so numerous in other parts of Canada, but are 
conspicuous in the narrows of Pelletau in Lake 

The effect of extreme cold in shivering rocks is 



very well seen in Hudsoik's Bay, where the act is 
frequently accompanied by considerable noise. A 
conflagration in the woods always comminutes 
the rocks to a considerable extent. 



fields of 

the Hawksbury Settle- 

ment on the Ottawa are often strewn with loose 
rocks, not rarely from ten to twenty feet long 
by five to ten feet broad. They are broken up 
into large flakes like palm-leaves by keeping 

a wood fire in full play 

upon them for twenty- 

four hours, and then suddenly drenching them 
with water. 

I soon obtained most Comfortable quarters at a 
private house, among kind people, who thought 
themselves well paid by the latest French Cana- 
dian news from Quebec ; a mode of remuneration 
very onerous to a weary man. On leaving this 
hospitable house I confess having put a dollar 
under a candlestick. 

The village of the Eboulements is on the flank 
of a cultivated mountain, which slopes swiftly 
on the left into the St. Lawrence, and in front 
into a broad marshy rfieadow, through which 
wanders a little stream hid in alders. 

From this meadow, perhaps seven miles from 
the valley of St. Paul, the road winds about the 
rough hilly region called La Mis^re, from the 
poverty and wetness of the land, to the summit of 



the lofty barrier overlooking St. Paul's, into 
which we descend almost perpendicularly. 

Like many mountainous countries, such as the 
Sardinian Alps, the Scottish Highlands, &c., the 
seigniory of Les Eboulements and its vicinity is 
liable to frequent but slight earthquakes. 

There is no reason to believe that there is any 
volcano north of 45° north latitude in America. 
Mr. Thompson, of whom I have already spoken, 
one of our greatest travellers among the Rocky 
Mountains and the Indian territories bordering 
the Arctic Seas, never saw or heard of one. 

Having gratefully visited the excellent Rousseau 
family of St. Paul's, I left direct for Quebec on 
foot over the summits of Cape Tourment and its 
neighbouring heights ; but as I have nothing par- 
ticular to tell I shall now close this excursion. 

VOL. I. 



The Boundary Commission, its officers, objects, labonrs, &c. — 
Lake Erie — Mr. Beaumont — Rev. Mr. Morse — Amberstburgh 
— Captain Stewart and his negroes — Chevalier and Madame de 
Brosse — Rattle-snake hunt — Indian cure — The Prophet — The 
Kickapoo Indians — Detroit — My Inn and its guests — The Pro- 
fessor, the Judge, and the Barber — Moy — The Mennonites. 

I BELIEVE that the report of my geological tour 
(the northern part of which up the Ottawa River, 
&c., forms the second Excursion), gave satisfac- 
tion. True it is that my masters did not know 
much about the matter, scarcely "quartz from 
pints," as a witty Irish lady once said of herself, 
but they had the wisdom to see how little could 
be expected from a solitaity individual flung help- 
less into a tangled forest, or on the rugged shore 
of an oceanlike lake. 

My tour of nearly two thousand miles showed. 




as far as could be discerned from shores, and 
banks, and broken hill-sides open to e.xamination 
that some of the rock formations had not found a 
place in geological classification,* and that all 
were too old to contain bituminous coal. Canada 
West was found to be abundant in iron ore lime- 
stone, fine marble, serpentine, gneis, and granite. 
I sailed within a mile of the copper mines of Lake 
Huron, but saw no traces of that ore, because I 

did not land. In the discovery of new fossils I was 

During the following winter I received the 
appointment of British secretary and medical i_ ,c, 

officer to the Boundary Commission, under the ^ 

sixth and seventh articles of the Treaty of Ghent. 

This Commission consisted of two portion/ 
British and American ; each with a commissioner' 
an agent,t secretary.^ astronomer, two or more 
surveyors, steward, and a number of voya<reurs 
and boatmen, varying according to circumstrnces 
from ten to fifteen. | 

«KTif«°«*" ^^ ^"^^^"^ experience, the science, nor the 
abU^ of S. Roderic Murchison. He saw the same orde of ro ks 
m other parts of the world, and had the honour of working ou Id 
proclaimmg a grand discovery, the SUurian system. 

t The agent was an assessor and adviser to the Commissioner 
He corresponded directly with his own Government, addressed state 
papers to the Commission, and managed the accounts 

^ I succeeded Mr. Stephen SeweU, brother to the Chief-Justice 
of Lower Can«ia, who resigned, and soon after died. 


'j— i^ 

i y 1^0 



During two summers the Commission had the 
assistance of two schoojiers, the Confiance and 
the Red Jacket, on Lakes Erie and Huron ; one 
belonging to each Goverijment. 

Of the Red Jacket I know nothing, having 
never seen her. The qonfiance had a crew of 
twelve seamen, and was commanded by Lieutenant 
John Grant, R.N., an excellent oflacer and truly 
amiable man. 

The Commission had been in existence three or 
four years when I joined it, and had worked from 
the starting-point up to the head of Lake Erie, 
550 miles, through districts in parts exceedingly 

It was the duty of the Commission to examine,, 
designate, and trace upon correct charts of their 
own construction, a bounc^ary line between Upper 
or Western Canada and jhe United States, along 
the middle of certain water communications, com- 
mencing at the Indian village of St. Regis on Lake 
St. Francis, where the 43th degree of north lati- 
tude strikes the St. Lawrence, and passing up this 
river, through the middle of Lake Ontario, of the 
river Niagara, of Lake Eriie, of the river Detroit, 
the Lake and river St. Cl^ir, of Lake Huron, the 
Straits of St. Mary, and of Lake Superior, as far 
as the Grand Portage. 
They were to decide to which of the two con- 



trading parties the several islands, more or less 
struck or approached by the boundary line, re- 
spectively belong, in conformity with the Tr'catv 
of 1783. j ^ 

From the Grand Portage on Lake Superior the 
Treaty of Ghent directed the boundary to pass up 
Pigeon River and along the water-communica- 
tions, a chain of lakes, rivers, and swamps, which 
lead to the north-west corner of the Lake of the 
Woods; from which point or corner a line was 
to be struck due south to north latitude 49°, and 
from thence along that parallel across the Ameri- 
can continent to the Rocky Mountains. 

The country to be examined and apportioned 
was, for convenience sake, designated in two 
articles, the sixth and seventh, of the Treaty of 
Ghent ; the former ending at the Straits of St. 
Mary, and the latter continuing the line to the 
Lake of the Woods. 

An accurately-described co-terminous line be- 
tween countries so extensively and closely contigu- 
ous as the Canadas (with Prince Rupert's Land) 
and the United States is of the first importance, 
both in a civil and military respect ; chiefly, how- 
ever, in the former. 

Positions of military offence and defence on 
the Canadian frontier are innumerable on both 
sides, so that the national interests are on that 

M > 



point but little affected as far as the 6th and 7th 
articles of the Treaty of Ghent are concerned. 
But a clear and acknowledged boundary is in- 
dispensable in question? of allegiance, of fiscal 
and legal jurisdiction, ojf general and local taxa- 
tion, and among other particulars, in the pursuit 
of criminals, debtors, an^ deserters from military 
service. It also apportiohs territory, often of great 
value, and is advantageous in other ways which 
need not now be enumerated. 

The details of the work evolved from time to 
time many difficulties, arising from a variety of 
circumstances, of which I can here mention only 

a few. 

The want of any established precedents in inter- 
national law was a good deal felt. They would 
have greatly facilitated discussion. The words 
used by the treaty-makers, whose topographical 
knowledge was limited, were sometimes vague. 
For example, it was uncertain whether the term 
" water communication," employed in the treaty, 
had a commercial or geographical signification. 
The Commissioners decided on the latter, as 
being the most useful. 

The " north-west corner " of a lake was another 
debateable expression^ which occasioned great 


Commercial routes were sometimes double. 



They might be used or disused (who was to say?). 
Portions lay between main and island, both occu- 
pied by the same nation, and so necessarily fall- 
ing to that nation, to the great discontent of the 
neighbouring inhabitants, who forgot that their 
right of passage and other uses would be secured 
afterwards by treaty. 

The distribution of the very numerous and 
often fertile islands caused great labour in sound- 
ings, measurements, and valuations. The islands 
which were unequally divided by the boundary- 
line were usually given to that party which be- 
came entitled to the largest share, compensation 
being made in some other part of the frontier, as 
contiguous as possible. The inconvenience of 
two nationalities on one small island was not to 
be endured. j 

Good-feeling, caution, ingenuity, knowledge of 
various kinds, were required from time to time 
in both parts of the Commission, to avoid appa- 
rently insurmountable obstructions — dead-locks, 
as they are called — and to decide wisely in 
doubtful cases. 

The Commissioners acted very much upon a 
set of principles tacitly or openly laid down from 
the first as general rules. 

I feel assured that the work was faithfully and 
well performed, both from my own near observa- 







tion,* and from the telling fact that the award was 
neither a take-in nor a triumph to either nation. 

The quantity of fertile and commodious land 
Avhich was set at liberty for public sale and safe 
enjoyment on both sides ©f the boundary was very 
large, being equal on the British side to a country 
ninety-five miles long by four broad ; for until 
this designation had tak£n place no titles could 
be given. By far the greater portion of the land 
is of excellent quality, with a tolerably dense 
population either surrounding it or creeping fast 
towards it, and worth all the expense incurred 
twenty-fold and more. The British came into 
secure possession of Wolfe, or Grand Island 
(31,283 acres), close to Kingston on Lake On- 
tario, of Wells, Howe, and other valuable islands 
in this vicinity. The island of St. Mary, in Lake 
St. Clair, and the rich apd beautiful St. Joseph, 
in Lake Huron, seventeen miles by twelve, also 
fell to the share of Upper Canada. 

Although I speak without having the accounts 
before me, I believe that the whole expense of 
the Commission during nine years, the term of 
its existence, was under £110,000. It was paid 
in equal shares by the two Governments con- 
cerned. As an elaborate topographic and diplo- 

* I wu five years in the Commission, and left it on accoopt of 

my health. 



matic labour, undertaken by two great nations, 
and carried on for a series of years, the expense 
incurred cannot be considered great. The space 
under survey and decision was about 1700 miles 
long by a variable breadth, for the most part 
wilderness, very distant, often most intricate, and 
only accessible in the summer.* \ 

All this stretch of country had fo be mapped 
accurately, as a standing official document in 
evidence — a work which includes minute sur- 
veys by astronomical observation, and by tri- 
angulation, various measurements, &c., and the 
construction of numerous maps on a large scale 
in quadruplicate, — a copy for each Government 
and each Commissioner. 

I need not say that the field service of this 
Commission was rendered arduous by the heats, 
severe labour, by the provisions being salt, by an- 
noying insects, heavy rains, and by the unhealthi- 
ness of some of the districts under examination. 

Several of the surveyors, although in hio-h 
spirits at first with their good salaries and new 
mode of life, soon left us, subdued by toil and 

I have in my eye now one gentleman of con- 

* The topographical survey of Great Britain has abeady cost 
1,500,000/., although its officers and men are mostly taken from 
the military serrice, and therefore work yery cheaply. 




siderable energy, sitting oy the half hoar on a bare 
rock in the sun, wiping his perspiring face, and 
in angry contention with a cloud of mosquitoes. 
He soon went away. Another resigned because 
work was begun at four o'clock in the morning, 
or, as he called it, in the middle of the night. 

It was, however, at the upper end of Lake 
Erie that sickness effectually disabled the united 
Commission. Scarcely a inan escaped either ague 
or bilious remittent fever under severe forms. 

The whole American party, General Porter 
(the Commissioner), included, caught one or other 
of these diseases among the marshes of the Miami 
River, or at Point Pele in Lake Erie. Not one 
of them died ; but mapy had narrow escapes, 
and few recovered until the succeeding spring. 

Mr. Ogilvy, the British Commissioner, was 
taken ill on the 12th of September, 1819, on 
Boisblanc Island, in the river Detroit, and ten 
days after died in the contiguous village of 
A^herstburgh. He did not complain much, and 
suffered chiefly from uttei" prostration. For seve- 
ral days he lay in a lethargic state; — in fact, 
until a few hours before death. 

Mr. Ogilvy died at thie age of fifty, much re- 
gretted. He was on the whole fitted for his task, 
being familiar with the country with which he 
had to deal, both in Canada and in the Indian 




territories, and he understood the views and 
interests of the respective nations. There was 
about him, I am informed, an unusual amount of 
public spirit and talent ; but he was variable, apt 
to be obstinate in trifles, and immediately after- 
wards too pliant in matters of more importance. 

He was in good circumstances, and during the 
last American war lent Government three or four 
thousand pounds; for which seasonable aid he 
was oSiered (but declined) a lucrative public 

During the last five or six years of his life he 
spent seven or eight thousand pounds in improv- 
ing his estate of Airlie, near Montreal, and in 
land speculations which his unexpected death 
prevented from ripening. i 

Mr. David Thompson, the British astronomer I S-/ C 
(already introduced to the reader), fell sick early 
in the same September, at first with extreme 
weakness, and then with high fever and delirium. 
He was ill twenty-one days, and as soon as he 
was able, left for his own home on the St. Law- 
rence, near the Glengarry settlement. There he 
remained, feeble and out of health, all the winter. '^'^"''^'—^ '-^< 

Two of the British boatmen died of remittent 
fever; one at Amherstburgh, and the other at 

The whole country about Lake Erie (always 






unhealthy in the warm ^onths) was visited that 
year (1819) with unusukl sickness. I was then 
on my geological tour; and in due course arrived 
in Sandusky Bay, at thd south-west end of Lake 
Erie, usually a gay and interesting scene, but 
then most pestilential, and therefore deserted. 
The greater part of tie inhabitants of San- 
dusky city had fled, While the adjacent small 
town of Venice was 1ft by all its population 
(1500), excepting one man aged seventy years 

to walk among the un- 
])ty houses, wharfs, and 

It was most melancholy 

trodden streets, the em 

warehouses. Venice statids in a swamp, the water 

of which is more than milk-warm in summer. 

As the Commission had again to work in Lake 
Erie, and in the sickly regions on the way to 
Lake Huron, it was reso ved to place a medical 
man m the office of secretary, then vacant by the 
resignation of Mr. Stephen Sewell; and I was 

Lord Castlereagh, thdn holding the foreign 
portfolio, conferred the vacant commissionership 
on Anthony Barclay, Esq., of the London bar 
brother to Col. Delancey Barclay, of the Guards 
aid-de-camp to the late D^ke of York, and son of 
the late Col. Barclay, wh^ for many years held 
various important employments in the United 
Stat/s, on behalf of the British Government. 



Mr. Barclay was selected with peculiar felicity, 
if fitness for office be determined by personal 
character, by great diligence, ability, and firm- 
ness of purpose, and by a large acquaintance with 
its duties, acquired as secretary to a similar 
Commission under the 4th and 5th Articles of 
the Treaty of Ghent ; while he of all men was 
enabled, by previous education and quiet amenity 
of manner, to cope with the eager and exacting- 
temper of American diplomatists, and to make 
good the right thing. 

I am at the same time far from sayinw or hint- 
ing a single word to the moral prejudice of the 
United States' portion of our Commission. They 
were men of strict honour, and frank and friendly 
toall— to myself personally most kind. But it 
is well known that American civil servants are 
under strong pressure, and ever anxious to estab- 
lish new claims upon the gratitude of the repub- 
lic. The length of their state-papers, notes, 
replies, rejoinders, &c. &c., was wonderful to me, 
unacquainted as I was with the style and method 
of official correspondence. 

It had been arranged in the winter of 1820-21 
that the United Boundary Commission should meet 
at Amherstburgh, as early in the ensuing spring 
as it was possible for the surveys to be prosecuted. 

On the 7th of May, 1821, therefore, the 

/^t / 




British Commission, including my humble self, 
arrived at Waterloo, a sleepy little cluster of 
houses at the head of the river Niagara, and on 
the Canadian side of Lake Erie. 

It was impossible to proceed further. Lake Erie 
was blocked up by a fixed mass of rough ice, forty 
miles long. From a neigibouring height, we were 
glad to think we saw a narrow lead-coloured line, 
the open lake, beyond the great white expanse. 

We were told that, by the help of a strong 
south-west wind, all that immense body of ice 
would crack and rend, and come tumbling down 
the river Niagara in ragged fragments. And so 
It fell out; but we waited in a wretched pot- 
house for six days. 

The passage of the ice down the Black-Rock 
rapids was an interestipg sight. We often 
watched the jammed masses, blocks and sheets 
of all shapes and sizes, hurrying down the river, 
at peace, however, amoSg themselves, except 
near the banks, where there was an abundance 
of quarrel and mutual damage. But with a 
cautious start from either Ibank, crossing seemed 
quite safe. The boat anji the ice were quite 
passive as regards each otter, because driven by 
the same current. 

We crossed several times. Of course it is a 
tedious affair, as the boat ife taken the best part 


of a mile too far down. On one occasion we 

went to a pleasant dinner at Black-Rock, at the 

large and commodious house of the American 

Commissioner (General Porter), the very house 

which was sacked a few years before by the 41st 

British Infantry. The soldiers fell principally on 

the larder and cellar, and were not disappointed, 

as an eye-witness informed me. Although a 

grievous act of barbarity, the affluent American 

general could speak on the subject with the 

greatest good-humour. The whole frontier was 

ravaged by the British by way of reprisal. 

On the 13th instant the ice had almost all 
disappeared;* and we embarked in the Buffalo 
steamer for Amherstburgh, a distance of 224 
miles, where we arrived on the 16th instant. 
There are now (1848) the surprising number of 
one hundred steamers on this lake alone. 

We rarely saw the Canadian shore, as we kept 
close to the American the whole way, calling at 
Dunkirk, Erie, Cleveland, and other places, to 
land and receive passengers and cargo. 

This shore is a remarkably straight and mono- 

* Does not this show that forty miles of water left the lake in 
less than six days,_t. e. from the moment the ice broke,— each 
mass descending with the water it floated in? Mr. Allen has 
oilculated that 701,250 tons of water flow out of Lake Erie at 
Black-Rock every minute. _'< American Journal of Science," 
vol. xlir. p. 71. 






/^ ^ , tonous line of rich sloping woods, with a clear 

ance here and there 
description of scenery 

We were favoured 
the servant of the 

There are no materials for 

by no incidents, except that 
British agent was robbed 
of a shoe, taken from off his foot while asleep 
on the deck at night. His great lamentation 
was the uselessness of the parted shoes to any- 

If, during our three days' voyage, we escaped 
dulness, the merit 1 es with the passengers. I 
was much pleased v^ith the agreeable manners 
and extensive information of Mr. Beaumont, a 
surgeon in the American army, on his way' to 
Michilimackinac. HJ there had soon afterwards 
the good fortune to |jeet with Martin the Ca- 
nadian, whose process of digestion could be seen 
through an aperture in the abdomen ; and the 
world had the good fortune to have so important 
a phenomenon fall in the way of an observer as 
able as Mr. Beaumont, 

It will be recollected that Mr. Beaumont wit- 
nessed in this man's stbraach' (laid partly open by 
a gun-shot wound) all the successive steps in di- 
gestion— the accumuUtion of blood in the sto- 
mach, the effusion of the pale gastric juice, the 
curious muscular movements of the organ, and 
finally, the disappearahce of the changed food. 




He made also very curious observations on the 
comparative digestibility of most of our ordinary 
articles of diet. 

I was very much attracted towards a youn^ 
cabm-passenger, named Hunter, from Maryland'^ 
a most prepossessing fellow, full of ability and 
spirit. He said he was a descendant of Poco- 
hontas, the Virginian princess, who saved the 
hfe of Captain Smith, and afterwards married him 
He had still very evidently the clear bronze of 
the Indian, and his never-to-be-forgotten eye 
He was on one of those exploratory tours so fre- 
quently made by American youth, and bound for 
Lake Michigan; from thence to make his way 
by Greenbay and tlie Fox River to the Mississippi 
and so round home. I longed to be his com- 
panion. The ivory haft of a dagger occasionally 
peeped from within his waistcoat. I asked him 
the use of it. He answered, that he hoped it 
would be of no use, but that it was best to be 
prepared for the lawless borderers of the west. 

The young men of the Atlantic shores of' the 
United States may often feel competition at home 
too strong for them, or may wish to know per- 
sonally the capabilities of other regions, in fer- 
tility, water power, or commercial openings. 

Again, we had an American clergyman on 
board, the Rey. Mr. Morse, very distinguished 

VOL. 1. 





I&^l at that time for his exertions in the cause of mis- 

sions. He was dressed with a preciseness ver}- 
unusual in the United States— wholly in black, 
•with small-clothes and silk stockings. His coat 
was single-breasted, descending to his heels, and 
was adorned with large cloth buttons. A white 
neckcloth and broad-brimmed hat I must men- 
tion, and then go on to say, that his physiognomy 
was mild, pleasingly devout ; his nose aquiline, 
giving his face the convex profile we see on the 
coins of Louis XVI. df France. He was fit for 
his work, and while not without the wisdom which 
is from above, possessed the activity, frankness, 
and tact of the man of the world,— and the de- 
cision, let me add, of which his dress was the 
symbol. He was always amiable and accessible, 
but always the minister. He did not act upon 
the Jesuit maxim of ^ntering a man's heart by 
his door and coming obt at your own. The use 
of his pen was incessant ; his note-book was 
flooded with remarks, .but upon what, was past 
my comprehension. | 

I have said that Mr Morse was a good man ; 
and therefore could not help sighing when I saw 
the triumphant eagerness, the large flashing eye, 
with which he mounted a high railing, to mark 
and talk over, in the presence of Englishmen, the 
exact locality where, a very few years before, the 



British and American squadrons had met in 
battle, -an open sheet of water, as smooth as 
glass when Mr. Morse was gazing upon it, with 
the Put-in Bay group of islets close at hand, other 
islands farther off on the north, and the low 
woody, south main almost disappearing in the 
distance. I perceived that in the mistaken pa- 
triot we had lost, for the moment, the Christian. 
Did he not know that his country was fighting the 
battles of Napoleon the oppressor, and against her 
agonising parent? and that a war against Great that juncture was base, matricidal, and 
a political mistake ? Hundreds of thousands of 
American citizens held up holy hands against that 
war. We can now rejoice that public opinion is 
vastly purified, and that thoughtful men seldom 
find pleasure even in victory. 

The American papers soon afterwards told us 
that the Rev. Mr. Morse did not go beyond Green 
Bay, in Lake Michigan. He was laid up there 
by sickness. 

The Boundary Commission left the steamer at 
Amherstburgh, at that time a village of about 
five hundred inhabitants ; but now having, wiUi 
double that number of people, a new court-liouse, 
market-place, five churches and chapels, and other 
remarkable improvements. In 1821 there were 
two companies of infantry at Amherstburgh, under 




a lieutenant-colonel, 
ment, an excellent o 

1 man of talent and refine- 
'Beer, but an invalid in an 
unhealthy station, anc obliged by his duty to live 
here in a crazy cottagje, with little or no society. 
Such IS life in the arrr^y. 

We met with every civility from the slender 
garrison. I here first tasted the grey squirrel. 
Although I am not find of new flavours at the 
dmner-table, I thought this an excellent dish. 

Our business here ^as confined to the settle- 
ment of accounts, and to framing directions to 
the surveying parties as to the summer's work 
They were ordered to make a map of River and 
Lake St. Clair, with the upper part of the River 
De'troit, and the head of Lake Erie — a very 
unhealthy district. 

The two commissioners, the English agent and 
the American secretary^ returned home; the Ame- 
rican agent and myself remained, to accompany 
the working parties. 

As the British schoUer Confiance, on board 
which we were frequently to reside, and ^hich 
was to convey us to the seat of work, did not 
arrive for a week afterwards, I passed this time 
very pleasantly at Amherstburgh and at the Ame- 
rican town of Detroit, eighteen miles above Lake 

The river and lake of St. Clair, with the Rirer 


Detroit, form the water communication between 
Lakes Huron and Erie, taking from the former to 
feed the latter. They are noble bodies of pure 
transparent water (except certain parts of Lake 
St. Clair), flowing through an immense plain 
through millions of acres of forest, full of smaller 
rivers, sometimes consisting of dry, useful land 
at others sinking into swamps or even extensive 
lakes. The hand of man is only felt on the prin- 
cipal streams ; all else is in a state of nature It 
IS now, however, fast replenishing with an indus- 
trious population. 

The Rivers Detroit and St. Clair have a lively 

fringe of comfortable and even pretty dwellinc^ 

embowered in pear, apple, and peach orchards' 

with here and there a church-tower or a clump 

ot wych-elms shadowing an advanced bank of 

the river. Productive farms stretch out of si<rht 

into the woods behind. When first I saw this 

region of plenty and beauty, I was enchanted 

>vith It ; but nearer acquaintance moderated mv 


Even at and about Amherstburgh there was 
much to interest,-not the moist, flat, half-culti- 
vated environs, nor its couple of streets, humble 
and narrow, but some of the temporary residents. 
, The climate, aguish and worse, and the great 
heats of summer, may account "for the drooping, 


" i 









aimless look of the people of this village, as well 
as its stagnant appearance generally. 

The shopkeepers and sijiall exporters com- 
plained of the times; but tlheir stores were well 
filled ; they were bartering freely with the back 
settlements in tobacco, wheat, Indian corn, &c. ; 
steamers and sloops were constantly bringing and 
taking away. The shopkeepers had a news-room 
and library— a sure indication of life and spirit. 
So I concluded that, upon the whole, things were 
not very bad. 

The farmers complained to me that the shop- 
keepers ruled them with a rod of iron, because 
they were mostly their debtors, and had to sell 
to them, their creditors, produce at a very low 
rate, or receive a visit fron^ the sheriflF's officer. 

prudence or energy 

This says very little for the 
of the farmer. 

I remarked that, except wlhen the climate had 
touched them, the general appearance of the 
country people was tolerably good, and indicated 
easy circumstances. I nevpr saw in England 
better crops of wheat; and kheir tobacco brings 
a high price. 

Strong drink is the bane of Canada West, es- 
pecially on outlying farms, and still more espe- 
cially, I fear, among half-pay officers. All goes 
on soberly and pleasantly while the buildings and 



land.are getting up and into order ; but as soon as 
this is done time hangs heavily, annoyances arise, 
vain regrets are felt, infirm health is apt to fol- 
low; when the only resource seems to be the 
whisky-bottle. The man begins to remember 
only the pleasant part of English and military 
life, and laments his chair and plate at the regi- 
mental mess. He is very glad of an invitation to 
dine with the little garrison twenty miles off; and 
in the end sinks into the sot, and drags his sons, 
if he have any, down with him. 

The gentleman settler is unfit for the gloom of 
the woods, and should select a ready-made farm, 
not more than ten miles from a town. This can 
be done any day on reasonable terms. 

There were in 1821 some remarkable persons 
in and near Amherstburgh, to whom I had the 
good fortune to be introduced. I am sure I shall 
be satisfying my own feelings, and doing honour 
to a man of high merit, in giving a brief account 
of Captain Stewart, late of the Honourable East 
India service. 

Although Captain Stewart resided at Amherst- 
burgh, and was still not thirty-five years of age, 
he had passed many years in India, and had had 
some concern with the mutiny at Vellore ; but 
his part in the affair must have been small ; for 
his jealous masters dismissed him with full pay 






/. , ^ /for life. He was handsome, frank, and energetic.^ 
/ His iron frame was indifferent to luxuries or even 

cori) forts ; any hut was a hoipe, and any food was 
nourisiiiuent, provided he c)Ould be doing good 
to others ; for he was, and is, a working Chris- 
tian. I 

At this time he was wagin;^ successful war with 
the negro slavery of the I'nited States. As a 
branch of this holy enterprise within the grasp of 
an individual of small means^ and totally unaided, 
he devoted himself to providing a home for run- 
aways from the slave states.*] 

Being at least twenty yearfe before his genera- 
tion, and having views as much above those of the 
careful traffickers of Amherstburgh, as the heaven 
is above the earth, the excelle^it captain was totally 
misunderstood, and well abusM, for bringing them 
customers, forsooth. 

His design was to establish in the neighbour- 
hood a negro colony. For th|s purpose he bought 
a small tract of land in th^ rear of the villao-e. 
As the poor fugitives camp in, friendless and 
breathless, though exulting. Captain Stewart 
offered them protection arid subsistence ; the 
first being still necessary against the stratagems, 

* In 1847 I had the pleasure of meeting Capt. S. at Bristol. I 
knew him instantly; there was the s^me carelessness about the 
outer man, and the same restless zeal f )r the old object. 



and even violence, of their pursuers ; the latter 
his land supplied. I 

The greater portion of these negro refugees 
became his tenants, and to this day form an 
orderly body of British subjects, numbering 174 
in 1842. So well known throughout the United 
States is the fact that there is such an asylum for 
the wretched slaves, that from 1820 to the present 
day, at least 15,000 persons of colour have come 
and settled in Canada West. That number is 
supposed to be there now, with churches and 
schools in different parts of the province. Durino- 
the late rebellion, when the American sympathisers 
invaded the British possessions, the blacks eagerly 
offered their services to Government, well knowing 
their fate if Canada should glitter as an additional 
star in the spangled banner of the American Con- 
federation. Their offer was accepted. There is 
(or was) a coloured company of soldiers at Stone 
Bridge, Lake Erie. 

I spent a very pleasant evening at the cottage 
of Captain Stewart, a plain but comfortable abode 
on the edge of his purchase, in which he lived 
with his widowed sister, and her numerous and 
fine family. 

The negro village and the clearances were then 
but just begun. As it was a very rainy season, 
the land seemed to be a swamp, and the huts very 




■ 5 f 

li ^ 

ii.: ' 

: if 


indifferent affairs, but were thought to be palaces 
by the freemen who inhabitec. them. Subsequently 
heavy crops were obtaine'd from their farms. 
Captain Stewart had the goodness to walk over 
some of them with me ; and I am glad that I had 
the discernment to cheer him on in his difficult 
undertaking. Happy is the man who, with wis- 
dom, selects and pursues aome great, unselfish 
object. Its influence upon himself is most bene- 
ficial, as well as upon otheijs, and will not cease 
with this life. 

" A good man seen, though silent, counsel gives." 

If this had been Captain Stewart's only work it 
would have been a noble benefaction to his fellow- 
men — well worth a life. 

There was near Amhersttiurgh, at this time, a 
family in which all must have been greatly inter- 
ested, a lingering relic, in the distant western 
world, of the old court of France. 

Medical men have a very general entree into 
the domestic circle. Sooner or later their services 
are indispensable, and they often become almost 
integral parts of the family. So it was here. The 
medical officer of the garrison was on these 
intimate terms with Chevalier and Madame de 

Dr. N. thought fit to take me with him to 
spend an evening with his French friends. 



They resided a couple of miles from Amherst- 
burgh, at the extreme point of the river, just 
where the fine woodland expanse of Lake Erie 
comes into view. In walking there we passed 
much pretty scenery, cottages with verandahs, 
clumps of drooping willows, park-like openings, 
and sand-banks overrun with sweet-briar, vines, 
and briony. I 

The cottage of the Chevalier stands between 
the lake and the highroad, and is a convenient 
jumble of added parts, each under its own little 
roof. The apartment with which I was best 
acquainted (the family sitting-room) looked with 
a wide bay-window upon the water. The large 
garden and the offices were on the opposite side 
of the road, upon rising ground, and sheltered 
the cottage from the cold north winds. They had 
a handy black galloway, and a Dearborn waggon 
on easy springs, to carry them about to the Cana- 
dian French families in the vicinity. | 

The moment I entered this sitting-room I felt 
myself in France. I was among the fanciful 
articles ofvirtH, the bijouterie, and feminine knick- 
knackery with which Madame de Genlis has made 
the untra veiled English familiar. There was no 
carpet, but little rugs instead, in favourite spots, 
before two short hair-seated sofa.s covered with 
yellow plush, with four arm-chairs to match close 



1 I 



by (a la Louis XIV.), and 

The tables were of the native wahiut, and very 

none of the newest. 

or less covered with 
and the one in the 
arge Limousin plate, 

beautiful. They were more 
books and culled flowers, 
middle of the room had a 
painted over with blue and white saints, and 
holding fans, seals, and medallions. For dear 
Versailles' sake, well remem 
of chequered years, Madanje had preserved, or 
somewhere picked up, a somewhat shattered cabi- 
net of marqueterie. 

Portraits adorned the walls of the room ; an 
excellent likeness of Mari^ Antoinette, in the 
gloomy mezzotint of fifty years ago; a dashing 
powdered likeness of Madame de Brosse when 
very young ; and another, much more humble 
and more modern, of her oflly daughter, a pretty 
little brunette, recently married to a worthy 
Frenchman, living on his 
fifteen miles off. 

I must not forget two ^i^'atteaus, pictures of 
shepherds and shepherdesses 
and gay clothes on wet gra^s, with open mouths 
and music-books. 

If there were a transcript of the ample and 
genial face of the Chevalier^ I did not see it. I 
hope there was, for there are few so worthy of the 
painter's pains. 

property, twelve or 

A VISIT. 269 

A tolerable piano was not wanting, and two or 
three capital guitars stood in corners upon piles of 

I had been long familiar with Grimm, Mar- 
montel, and other describers of French life in 
1770-1790. It was, therefore, most agreeable, as 
^vell as unexpected, to find before me a very 
pleasing representation of the vieille cour en action 
m the heart of North America-not for a moment 
wishing the vieille cour back again. 

I was received at the door by the Chevalier, with 
the warm but refined welcome which high-breed- 
ing alone can give. He was a magnificen^t person 
SIX feet five inches high, under sixty years of a-e' 
with an open, gentlemanly physiognomy, and a 
free, springy carriage even now. There had been 
a time when he was finely proportioned, but an 
indolent life of twenty years had added more to 
his bulk than to his beauty. 

He led us very pleasantly into the sitting-room. 
Ihere, ensconced in an easy chair, close to the bay- 
window, and its quiet scenery of cypress, and 
willow, and shining lake, we found Madame de 
Brosse, a poitly old lady, once fair, and cer- 
tamly handsome, now lively and gracious, with a 
certain high manner blending in, but anything 
rather than offensive. She received U8 most 




The new-married daughter, in a simple dress, 
sat by her side, evidently ready to contribute to a 
pleasant evening. How she came to be a brunette 
I do not know. 

In a few minutes their Only son, a lieutenant 
on the half-pay of a Canadian regiment, walked 
in. He strongly resembled his father in every- 
thing but his hilarious featjures, for those of the 
son, with a woodland negligence of dress, were 
decidedly pensive, and that perhaps from vain 
regrets for the lost distinctions and pleasures of 
his ancestors. 

We had of conversation great plenty. The 
Chevalier and his lady were full of anecdote about 
courts, and camps, and lengthened wanderings. 
They found in me, at least, a new and respectfiil 

After coffee Madame called upon her daughter 
for a romance to the guitar, which she gave at 
once, very unaffectedly and well. Then M. de 
Brosse himself thundered out a " Chanson a la 
chasse." It was too loud to be musical. I feared 
for the windows. In the djiet that followed be- 
tween himself and Madamfi de Brosse he sang 
the old French air upon which it was based as 
gently and s\eetly as he bad been boisterous 
before. Madaipe's org; n might be thin, but her 
singing was correct and tastt ful. Throughout the 


evening the amiability of this family, and their 
determination to look brightly on the present 
and confidingly on the future, was delightful ' 
Having been a very humble cultivator of the 
gay scence, I tuned up ™y small pipe in two or 
three French airs which had not as yet been 
wafted so far west. Having the great advantage 
of bemg .. a new man," I .as approved, and mo^ 
than once repeated my visit. Gateaux, creams 

and frmts, ought to add, .uded the ever' 
very agreea ly. This interesting family were the' 
n their best spirits on account of the marriage of 
their daughter. ® 

The Chevalier had fallen in love with his ladv 

(perhaps) suordmate situations about the person 
Frelh ""' '" ^'^ '^^'""'"^ ^' ^ '« «-t 

drove the aristocracy of France, and these two 
young people with them, to the four winds. 

After a variety of painful adventures M. de 
Brosse found himself an officer in the De Watte- 
vile regiment, i„ the pay of Great Britain, and 
havingalways corresponded with his Leoline,soon 
afterwards married her. They were in Spain. 
S«cily. England, and latterly i„ the Canadas 

where he took leave of active service upon the 
half-pay of a major. He purchased a farm, and 
settled on the Detroit, where the comforts of life 





lere there are several 
and consequence. 

are readily procured, and w 
French families of propertv 

Do they regret the elegant frivolities of the 
Trianon, and do they esteetm themselves driven 
from Paradise?— Yes! certslinly. Youth and dis- 
tance have given lustre to t\\e gay, and softness to 
the darker parts of their e^rly life. The bright- 
ness of the scene immediately around them, and 
the amiability of their master and mistress, had 
shut their eyes to the miseries of universal France, 
which it was the design of Providence, by the 
revolution, to lessen. i 

My medical friend one day made a party to 
hunt rattlesnakes in the marshy islands, a little 
below Amherstburgh, as I had never seen one. 
We put on strong boots, reaching nearly to the 
knees, and thick pantaloons^ We therefore did 
not fear a bite. As to our weapon of offence, we 
had a long elastic switch. 

We landed on a field of long grass, twenty or 
thirty acres in extent, and found mowers at work 
defended by pieces of blaniiet tied round their 
legs. They said they had seen several rattle- 
snakes in the course of the morning, and we 
were not long in finding six-three among the 
long grass, and three among some fallen timber 
We had the pleasure (such fts it was) of several 
runs, and of hearing the dread rattle in full force. 
We killed two, each more than a vard long. 



Amherstburgh is famous for rattlesnakes Dr - 
N.told me "ffhe"' '"'^^ 
chdcl^en (aged six years) of an officer wa bUtfn 
The usual symptoms set in with severitv H^ 
used all the known remedies assiduous 7 xtern, 
and mternal, but the child only grew ^'^ ^ 

some rattlesnake root ffinnJ '^""™ed with 

Dart off J, I ,°'^^'""^^^«i"«*^5ce«5). Of 

The „„lj, „,!,„ chcunistance wortby „f „„,, 

"' '' ""l"'^ f'^'-"' fr"- the British GoTern! 
men.. S„™e of them were brawny, well-fed b™. 
s len »e„. of „iddle-age, with ikle oolnl 
In. a blanke, bine n,iddle.l„,h, and necklace of 


J^^ I 

■r. I 



interesting Indian of these regions, as much ou 
account of his own great capacity and influence 
as because he was the brother of the renowned 
Chief Tecumseh,* killed in the last American war 
I am speaking of the Prophet, most faithfully 
delineated in Catlin's series of Indian Portraits. 
I could not help shaking hands with him, and 
addressing to him a few friendly words by an 
interpreter. He was evidently a conservative of 
the true water— a sombre, reflective savage of the 
old times, large, gaunt, square-featured— the able 
coadjutor of his brother in his scheme of leaguing 
together all the Indians of North America, to 
sweep the white men out of the land altogether. 
In the war of 1813 he assisted the British very 
eflPectively, but it is supposed only with the view 
of weakening his future foes. The Prophet wag 
some time afterwards killed in a fray with those 
Ishmaelites the backwoodsmen. 
Jt seems unfortunate that the Indians of the 

* Tecumseh, the Indian hero, wiU Jever be forgotten on the 
Great Lakes. In 1811, at a councU held with the Americans at 
Vmcennes, Tecumseh, having finished his address, showed some 
displeasure that no seat was kept for him. General Harrison 
hastened to order one to be brought. " Warrior," said a bystander 
to hmi, " your father, the General, presents to you an arm-chair " 
" He, my father !" cried the chief, fietcely. " The sun is my 
father, and the earth U my mother. She nourishes me. I sleep 
upon her bosom." And then the haughty savage sat on the ground, 
cross-legged. ° ' 



centra parts of North America come in contact 
generally outlaws and desperate men who 
are not to be called Christians, even for a mo- 
ment, m courtesy. 

Another Urge body of Indians then present 
was quite distinct from these. They came from 
the western prairies on horses, and were slender 
young men, dressed from head to foot in purple ; the seams of their little coatees, its cape 
and their leggings, edged prettily with a short 
white fnnge. i 

Close to Amherstbui^h there is a grassy com- 
mon a hundred acres in extent. On this, these 
young braves were perpetually galloping, and 
wheeling, and checking in full career their slight 
horses, in a most absurd and reckless manner,°as 
It seemed to me. One evening the Buffalo-dance 
was performed by thirty or forty stamping sa- 
vages, disguised with the horns and portions of 
the skin of this animal. We were favoured with 
innumerable frantic bellowings, grimacings. and 
Shufflings here and there.nA/ | 

Three or four days hefJe the expected arrival 
of our schooner, the Confiance, I went to Detroit 
sixteen miles up the river, the capital of the then' 
territory of Michigan. I wished to see for myself 
the physiognomy and manners of a small frontier 
town. I embarked in the periodical steamer. The 






nver scenery has been jioticed before. The stream 
IS a mile or more brpad, and flows, all alive 
with sloops, canvass, and scows, through a settled 
country, placid and productive, save on the British 
side for a few miles above Amherstburgh, where 
the Huron reserve remains a wilderness. 

Detroit no^7 contains (1847) more than 10,000 
inhabitants. The territory has become an im- 
portant state (repudiatirtg). In 1821 it had 1400 
inhabitants, scattered over a long straggling street 
parallel to the river, wit^ a few lanes behind In 
the middle of the town vrasa very singular starin.^ 
Roman Catholic church, of great size. In the 
rear was a large common, on which troops of 
horses were grazing and frolicking. 

About nine o'clock <^ a Saturday moruincr I 
landed opposite to a decqnt inn with two si-ns°- 
« General Washington," with while tie and black 
coat With stand-up collarj fronting the river-and 
an angry eagle, of gilt wood, behind, to face the 
street. Although this double-facedness did not 
suit my English notions, I carried my light port- 
manteau up the bank of twenty to thirty feet 
and into the door-way of the inn, where I met 
with the crummy landlady. On asking her if I 
couldhaveabed,_«Oh! yes tobesure."-«'And 
bed-room to myself?"-» Oh! no; but you can 
have a room with only three beds in it." My eye 



catching at the moment the sign-board of another 
large wooden inn, I declined the lady's invitation 
to walk in, and passed over to the rival house of 
entertainment under the patronage of «' General 
Winfield Scott," even now a famous and very tall 
American general, judging from a blue painting 
of him on the wall. 

Presenting myself here meekly, for I had not 
breakfasted, I was informed that five beds in a 
room was the smallest allowance they could offer. 
So humbled was I, and so disinclined to face the 
" Golden Eagle," that I took my traps up-stairs, 
and came down to an excellent breakfast. 

I shall not carry the reader with me all adown 
the sweltering, dusty streets of Detroit, empty of 
every living thing but pigs and poultry. So I left 
the string of shabby wooden houses, rubbishy 
stores, full of coarse dry goods, and the loaded 
gutters, loudly calling for the feathered scaven- 
gers of Georgia and Florida. I betook myself 
home and read the " Detroit Gazette," an out-and- 
outer, writing boldly and well up to the times. 

One o'clock brought dinner, a rough, sub- 
stantial meal, with at least twenty commensals, in 
every variety of costume. They were clerks, shop- 
keepers, lawyers, land-agents, and doctors. Most 

of these lived in the house ; others roosted amon^ 
«u»:_ 1^ mi ■.. ° 




their goods. 

The dinner was soon despatched. 



i'l I. 



and the clatter of plates among the things of the 
past. The bulk of the diners dispersed, leaving 
a meditative batch of three or four. 

Among these was the editor of the " Gazette," 
Mr. Sinkler (Sinclair, fet. Clair), and Mr. Crittle, 
the land-agent, shrewd in his own business, but 
friendly and mild, and very curious about Eng- 
land. To these I must add a very strange per- 
sonage, who turned out to be a professor of He- 
brew, wrapped up in a sort of ample dressing- 
gown of purple serge or flannel, with trousers of 
the same. In these places you may dress as you 
like, provided you are dressed at all. The land- 
agent wore corduroy cossacks and jacket, as being 
suitable for his sylvan rambles. The editor and 
land-agent became great gossips of mine at once. 
But I must first speak of the professor, as being 
the greatest original of the three. 

As I walked up to the door of the " Winfield 
Scott," my attention was arrested by the flowing 
purple of the professor, as he was lounging on 
the broad bench which ran along the houseside. 
He was a powerfully made dwarf, high-backed, 
legs short, and very stout. His head was great 
and protuberant, and he had large red features, 
eyes blue, quick, and expressive; his red hair 
hung over his shoulders in clubs twisted like 




This singular being was really a professor of 
Hebrew, wandering in search of pupils wherever 
he was least likely to find them. Many such 
persons there are in the byways of the West. He 
was swinging his squat person about, and ha- 
ranguing a small knot of loiterers. For lack of 
other listeners, he would have lectured to the 
black cook, as she was splitting a fowl. 

The professor was more odd within than with- 
out. He was a Scotchman of respectable origin, 
and a truly learned man ; but every word and 
look of his was so spiced with the extravagant and 
ludicrous, that there was no listening to his sono- 
rous sounds without a riot of laughter, to the poor 
man's great loss, grief, and astonishment. 

The professors of the university at which he was 
educated, respecting his attainments, procured for 
him a private class ; but it had only one sittino-. 
After listening to his odd and egotistical discourse 
for ten minutes, first one foolish student filliped a 
paper pellet at him, and then another, until the 
shower was universal ; and there was a great row, 
in which some of the pupils were in danger of 
being thrown out of the window by the enraged 
doctor, who although short was extraordinarily 
strong in the arms. 

I sat next to him at breakfast one morning, 
when he obliged me by some magnifical dis- 

' f 





!}' '■ 



following is a faded spe- 

course, of which the 
cimen : — 

"So, sir! you arefrJm the good old country 

hke^ysel Why did you leave it. Answer nfe 
that! But three-fourths of us professors here are 
either Bntish, or of the British. Look at Ren- 
wick of Colurnbia College. Highland Mary's 
grandson; at Dunglisspn ; at Pattinson of Glas- 
gow ; at myself, a near kinsman of the Gentle 
Shepherd. One good native teacher I know and 

-ith dehght the other ^ay for two good hours 

whde he gave us (quite new to me) fhe natu 
nstory and uses of that admirable esculent the 

with an African assagai (a dart). Sir, this is an 
jnquirmg and an acquiring country. They will 
know and will have. I dhall soon have plenty of 
pupls I shall soon be off to the new self'gove'n 
ing and self-supporting college in Ohio, where a 
^an of my calibre is grievously wanted. I have 
etters to those people. kU have- sent them my 
little treatise on the Canaanitish Mysteries. Do 
you know Professor Parker, of Northland Col- 
ege ? Although he is a pupil of mine, I am bound 
to declare that he has no more brains than a sol- 
dier carries in his knapsack. A planet-load of 

such fellows is not worth a 

rush. To be sure he 



would not walk into a well ; but as to Hebrew !— 
Pshaw ! I first called on him in the month 
Chisleu. Certainly he was not sacrificing to Nis- 
roch, his eagle-faced god ; but he was with many 
other fools in his drawing-room, so bewitched with 
a silly singing-woman, that he told a professor of 
the Hebrew tongue to call again. But that pro- 
' fessor of Andover, with the long name, is of an- 
other sort. Yes! with the long name — Long- 
■fellow! — 'long, long ago,' as somebody used to 
sihg. He is a man of very fair American abilities. 
When I was at his college, giving a course of 
Egyptian antiquities, I might have been the noble 
Asnapper himself, such was his courtesy to the 
man who is now addressing you. He is good, too, 
in verse. But, speaking of these poets of the west, 
I know them all, from Florio of Poughkeepsie[ 
through Percival, ' all purple and gold,' up to 

Bryant, who chauuts the wild ducks " &:c. &c. 

till midnight, had I not respectfully called the 
professor's attention to the cold tea and now solid 
buttered toast. 

I afterwards saw this individual at Quebec, try- 
ing to lecture. His money, however, had run 
out, and he kept his bed three days in despair. 
Kind words and a subscription revived him. He 
was grateful. His «' subsequents," as the Ame- 
ricans would say, I do not know. 


* i ' 



The land-agent, Mr. S. Crittle, and myself, with 
fire others, inhabited at night the same bed- 
chamber. Mr. Crittle and two friends of his used 
to keep me awake until twelve at night, by sitting 
on my bed and asking questions about George 
the Fourth and George Robins the auctioneer- 
equally great men in their opinion, as filling up 
much space in "The Times" newspaper - and 
about London, Windsof, and Liverpool, &c. In 
return, I received no little information on the 
difficult subject of land-sales, private, public, or 
on military-service tickets. Crittle owned that a 
smart man might do a good stroke of business at 
De'troit ; that there was a demand for his article ; 
the land, climate, and market, all good ; and that 
the townships were filling up not amiss. He 
shewed me about the town, saying he could look 
after trade quite as well in the street as in his 
httle office. I was shewn the Museum, which 
was very creditable as far as it went; and the 
library of 1400 well-selected volumes, being one 
for each inhabitant. Novels I observed were 
about one-third of the whole collection.* 

My little editor was a lively, sharp New Eng- 
lander, chatty and well-informed. During the 
extreme heats of the daj I twice spent an hour in 

Itrj"'^ !°'°t '"''* ""'** such progreis as Detroit since 1821. 
Its popnlahon has mcreased seven-fold. An^ong its pubUc build- 



his dirt-encrusted printing-office. We talked as 
he worked off the paper. His leading articles, 
short and strong, were put into type at once 
•without copy. The paper was of small size, the 
main part of its contents taken from the latest 
English arrivals ; but the stay and support of the 
concern were the advertisements, which bein"- 
duty free were cheap and numerous, and conde- 
scended to the smallest imaginable transaction. 
He did the whole work of the paper, excepting its 
delivery to the subscribers. In fact, I saw that 
the Detroiters fared well and worked hard ; they 
were therefore making profit. Many grumbled, 
but few left. ^ 

" Sir," said I to the editor one day, "you told 
me you were a bookseller. I see some reams of 
brown and white paper, and a few pieces of paper- 
hangings. Where is your literature ? " 

" Oh !" he replied, " I blocked up my windows 
with books for two years, but they were noticed 
only by the flies. I did not sell three copies. 
People have not read through the town library 
yet. A box in the garret without a lid contains 


ings are a state-house, city-haU, state-penitentiary, gaol, eight 
churches, three markets, a theatre, library, and museum. Country 
seats stud the environs. Two railroads into the interior are being 
made. The central railroad is finished to Marshall, one hundred 
miles ; and so b the Erie and the Kalamazoo, thirty-three miles. 


/' Iff 



™y Stock of books."! So going up-stai,-s and 
overhaahng the box. I found several Americaa 
reprints much to my ta^te. 

Men must speak as tjiey find. I have resided 
lor months in various parts of the United States 
and have always met wi|h obliging people. 

On the Sunday of mjj stay here I went to the 
tp.scopaI church, and w^sglad to see an attentive 
and well-dressed congregation. General Macomb 
the governor, and his far^ily, ^ere in a neat pew' 
not d,ffermg from those^of other people, the gH 
neral in plam clothes ; bjit his two aide-de-cam^ps 
m uniform, escorting ijis lady-like daughters 
d^^essed in white. The s.rmon was good, and the 
church comfortable. 
The following day I visjted the prison. It con- 

tained a single prisoner, a 
of murder. I entered his 
was squatted on the mu 

young Indian, accused 

small round cell. He 

1^ floor, unwashed, un- 

, ^ •""" """', unwasnecJ, un- 

and half off. He gave us ^o glance, but seemed 

I?ere, indeed, was a soul 
This was one of 


fixed— in an iron dream 

shut up! I could say not...,, .^.^wasom 

the mos painful sights I h,d seen in America. 

1 will change the subject for the followin<. 
homely but characteristic incident •- 

Although I seldom submit to professional shav- 
^ng, U was indispensable so to do soon after seeing 


the captive Indian. The operator was a black 
• man, very dressy, self-sufficient, and talkative. 
During the process I was foolish enough to stiffen 
my "pper lip, to give the razor a firmer surface 
to work on. He had already cut me twice. 

" Now, please, sir," he exclaimed, " do not so— 
be natural ; it will be best for us both. I love 
nature ; with her I know where I am." 

Soon afterwards he again drew blood. I held 
• my face then rather low ; but he chucked me 
gently under the chin, crying, « Up, man ! up 
with it." I tell these little things to shew the 
droll impertinence of free coloured men in the 
United States. This artist sat down to dinner, I 
doubt not, without the most distant idea that he 
had done anything out of the way. In different 
parts of the world I have come across puppies in 
dress, but never one, either in Paris or Baden- 
Baden, at all to be compared to the black man- 
servant of the celebrated orator Randolph. It was 
a great treat to see this personage peacocking 
ipaonisant) in his flame-coloured waistcoat, frills" 
&c., before our hotel door at Washington. 

I was one evening sitting at tea alone, near the 
window in the eating-room overlooking the river, 
after a hard day's work mineral-hunting in some 
quarries four miles below Detroit. My being 
served with tea out of the usual course was a great 



favour. The kindness of the landlady had added 
the luxuries of preserves, honey, and buck-wheat 
cakes to the refreshing meal. All the boarders 
were gone to a rifle-match. I had taken one cup, 
and was deep in a new-bought book, when I was 
suddenly awoke by a singular command uttered 
close to my ear. | 

" Put down that'book, sir ! You and I are to 
pass the evening in this room ; and it is not to be 
spent in reading!" 

I looked up at ijhe stranger, and my vexation 
was at once quieted; I beheld a remarkably good- 
looking, white-hai^-ed old gentleman, smiling 
kindly upon me oiit of open, candid eyes, from 
under a broad-brimmed hat. He was dressed 
much like a Quaker ; and yet he did not belong 
to that sect of prim faces and noble hearts. He 
had on a brown single-breasted coat, and panta- 
loons to match, white neckcloth and white stock- 
ings, and— rare to see hereabouts— his shoes were 
well blacked. As somehow I did not speak, after 
standing some moments, he said — 
" Pray, sir, who are you ?" 
" Oh! sir," I replied, beginning to be not well 
pleased at the interruption, " I am a poor, unfor- 
tunate, stray Englishman." 

I was about to say more, when he broke in upon 
me, exclaiming, " I am surprised to hear you speak 



so lightly and untruly. The poverty is not great .iv^ 
where there is butter and honey (glancing at the 
table) ; and let me tell you that it is an estate to 
be an Englishman. Never jest with your lofty 
birthright. You are the countryman of Alfred, 
Shakspeare, Newton, and Wilberforce. To Eng- 
land and her lineage is committed by the God 
above us the schooling of the nations. I shall 
take tea with you." With that he called for a 
cup and saucer, and a fresh infusion of hyson. 

Having sat down, he at once asked me from 
what part of England I came. Having told him 
from Nottinghamshire : | 

"What!" he cried out, "from the county of 
Byron and Kirk White, of Cranmer and Hart- 
ley, of the Savilles, the Willoughbys, and the 
Parkyns?" I 

Here I interrupted him in my turn : " Under 
the circumstances, I am entitled, sir, to ask 
respectfully to whom I have the honour of ad- 
dressing myself." 

" I am," he answered, '* Judge Perkins, by 
descent a Parkyns of Nottinghamshire, one of 
the blood of blunt Sir Thomas the wrestler ; my 
grandfather being the first to leave English soil. 
To-morrow I hold a district court at this place 
for the despatch of legal business. I reside at 
Greenfields, about eight miles down the river. 




where I shall be happy to see you, and shew you 
my numerous famiily and pretty place." 

I thanked him cordially, but expressed a fear 
that the shortness of my stay would deprive me 
of the great pleasure of accepting his friendly 
invitation. - I 

I had previously heard of Judge Perkins as 
being popular and much respected in this neigh- 
bourhood, and that it was quite impossible for 
him to intrude at Detroit. 

I think he occi^pied full two hours in questions 
about his dear old county, its present condition 
in agriculture and manufactures, its nobles and 
gentry, Merry Sherwood, Thoresby, and the 
square old tower of Bunny Hall, the seat of the 
Parkyns. He evjen knew the quaint motto over 
the door of the old-world village school-house, — 
" Disce vel discede." England was still to him 
the home of ancijent days, and in her fortunes he 
took a deep interest, like most other involuntary 

He then spokfe long and well of Europe and 
America, of their blots and beauties — said that 
he was satisfied with his adopted country,* but 
not insensible to its imperfections. He thought 
that in America both virtue and vice were gigan* 

* Neither the Mexican war nor the repudiation of just debts by 
many of the states had then occurred. 



tic — that here, bad men were exceedingly bad, 
and the good exceedingly good. 

He remarked upon the flattering welcome 
with which Americans are received by all Euro- 
pean nations, excepting, perhaps, the British, 
between whom and the Americans there is a sort 
of famil)' soreness — the prosperous young nation 
being too noisy and presuming, and the elder 
branch too austere. 

*' But," said he, "it is hardly fair to pass any 
judgment upon us as yet; we are immature, 
unripe, formed from a multitude of different 
races, and hardly coherent — necessarily too busy 
with the coarser wants of life to attend to the 
elegancies and refinements of a higher civilization. 
It is true that the moral sense is low among us — 
lower than in England. Even there, are you all 
you ought to be? What says your finest poet? — 

' Earth is sick, 

And Heaven is weary of the hollow words 

Which states and kingdoms utter when they talk 

Of truth and justice. Turn to private life 

And social neighbourhood ; look we to ourselves ! 

A light of duty shines upon every day 

For all ; and yet how few are warned or cheered ! ' " 

Bxcurt. p. 204. 

Being joined at meals by strangers is common 
at inns in the country parts of the United States. 
Besides, in a person of Judge Perkins's age 

VOL. I, u 




and station, it was an act of condescensioa 
to join my tea-t^ble. Far greater liberties are 
taken in the middle and back districts. 

I remember, w|hen the Boundary Commission 
sat at Utica, in the state of New York, a party of 
our surveyors were quartered at the second inn of 
the place (lO.OipO inhabitants). One of our 
gentlemen — for ^uch he was by education and 
by conduct, alth(j)ugh a half-caste Indian — was 
awoke in the middle of the night by the glare of 
a candle, and the ^oise of the landlord showing a 
newly-arrived strjanger into bed to him. The 
stranger had far better have ventured into the 
lair of a wild cat and her young. My friend lay 
quiet, and with closed eyes, until the man began 
to get into bed, wfaen he put his foot to his body 
with such force ijnd good-will, as to drive him 
headlong against the door, right across the 
apartment. Thailkful was he to be allowed to 
pick up his clothes and disappear. 

On the evening of my last day at Detroit I 
crossed the river to a little hedge-inn on the 
British side, close to Moy, at that time the resi- 
dence of Mr, Mackintosh, a wealthy and re- 
spected merchantl Moy is close to Windsor, a 
flourishing little village famous for its fine pear- 
trees. I 

I had not been long sat, when in stepped a 





bold pedlar, with pack and box. He was a 
broad-chested, short man, with a profusion of 
sandy whisker. " Well, mistress," said he, " I've 
had a long tramp this blazing day. I am both 
dry and hungry. Let us have something com- 
fortable. But of course you know we must 
trade!" "No, indeed," the landlady replied, 
" I cannot ; I do not want anything in your 
line." " But, mistress, it is the universal rule of 
the road." " Except here," says she; "my friend 
Sugarbutt deals with me, and I with him; and 
he knows to a day when my thread, soap, and 
tea are out." " Well, then, mistress," rejoined the 
pedlar, " at your greatest need may you have a 
cloudy new moon, your thread break, and your 
needle want an eye ! We don't trade." He 
shouldered his bundle and departed. 

In the meanwhile I was sitting at a little 
window of one pane, looking up the road. Soon 
after the pedlar had gone, I descried approaching 
at an easy pace two strange bearded figures, oa 
large, rough horses, with saddle-bags behind 
them, and stout over-coats before. 

They alighted at the door, in beards to be 
coveted, — in broad, slouching hats,— long, free- 
flowing coats, waistcoats, and trowsers of snuff- 
colour, with strings everywhere instead of but- 









They were middle-aged men, bulky, erect, 
deliberate, with large, mild, satisfied faces — 
elders of the Mennonite persuasion on a tour of 
inspection among their people, scattered over the 
upper or western province. 

Taking their place among us in the kitchen, 
they talked unreservedly with every one as they 
made their simple meal. 

I joined them ; and after some general con- 
versation, I asked them why they dressed so 
difi«rently from Christian people in general. The 
person to whom I addressed myself smiled, and 
said that dress was not a principal matter, and 
merely concerned the feelings, &c. For them- 
selves, they bore a love to the Saviour so per- 
sonal, that they wished to imitate him in outward 
things as in inward. As He wore a beard and 
loose garments, so did they. And further, they 
found this external badge or testimony a great 
safeguard against the seductions of the world, and 
any slowly progre$sive conformity with prevailing- 
practices which niight otherwise creep in among 
them. " Moreover," he added, " I am not sure 
that bearded Christians are so greatly in the 
minority throughout the earth as you have taken 
for granted." 

I questioned them as to the great doctrines of 
revelation, and received correct and sober an- 



«wers. They certainly differ fr«m us widely in 
church government, but in little else of import- 
ance. As they lead the quiet, godly lives of 
believers, I could not but indulge them in their 
harmless peculiarities ; and I felt in my heart to 
love them. 

Their people, the elder went on to inform me, 
at my request, were to be found in many of the 
western districts, but are most numerous in Gore 
and Niagara. Many of them are Germans, or of 
German extraction. German families of Men- 
nonite sentiments are now coi\tinually settling 
in Canada West from Pennsylvania, preferring 
the stillness and security of the British colony to 
the racket, worldliness, and most probably the 
petty persecutions (local), of the United States. 

I once met in the woods a migratory family of 
this kind, reposing on their journey. They had 
with them two waggon-loads of substantial fur- 
niture, drawn by sleek, stout horses. The people 
themselves were pictures of health and common 

During the last war with the United States, 
when the Canadas were invaded, the British Go- 
vernment wisely permitted the Mennonites to 
remain at home peaceably, on commuting by 
money for military service. This was no hard- 
ship, because the war had produced high prices. 


I' i 



of which the ordinary militia could not avail 
themselves, as tlieir farms were necessarily neg- 

I afterwards |Jassed through a district of Men- 
Fort Erie and Grand River, a 
but with fertile and elevated 

lionites, between 
swampy country, 

spots here and there. 

Though not a healthy neighbourhood, the 
Mennonites did toot complain. I went into one 
or two of their houses, which were low, plain, but 
comfortable. EKtreme neatness prevailed every- 
where. Their brass vessels were as bright as 
gold, and their pewter looked like silver. Large 
pails of milk and cream stood pure and cool in 
their little dairies ; the fatted calf and the home- 
reared lamb were playing about the homestead 
and orchard, the owners were a large, fair, 
calm race, evidently cheerful with Christian hope. 
I felt glad that there was upon earth such un- 
ruffled peace, enduring from childhood to old 
age — so complete a separation from the tempta- 
tions and corrosions of ordinary life. 




- ! 


H. M. schooner Confiance — Lake St. Clsur — Sickness — 
Sailor shot — River St. Clair — Belle Riviere Island— The 
sick Traveller — The banished Lord — The Black River — Fort 

' St. Clair — Thunderstorms — Missionaries — Lake Erie — Boat 
Voyage — The Settlement— The Governor-General — The Me- 
thodist Missionary — Religious Statistics and Observations — 
Schools — The Storm — The Roman Catholic. 

On returning to Detroit from my visit to Moy, 
as just related in the first part of this excursion, 
I found that H. M. schooner the Confiance 
had arrived at Amherstburgh from Penetangui- 
shene, and would next day again mount stream 
for Lake St. Clair. I therefore early next morn- 
ing, after a hurried leave-taking, hired a little 
skiff and two rowers for Amherstburgh, where I 
had several trifling matters to settle. I had, 
however, to take another opportunity ; for about 









half-way down we met the Confiance painfully- 
winning her way against the current. 

The first thing I saw on deck was the round 
bald pate of Monsieur Pomainville, our purveyor, 
and his fine French features, as he was emerging 
from the hold, where he had been in search of a 
ham for dinner. 

He was full of chat about good looks and a 
pleasant summer to come, but said no more. 
Four or five days afterwards, awaking from a 
siesta on the hot 4eck, he cried out, " Ah ! M. le 
Docteur, I tell yOu while I remember, there are 
two letters from England for you in my cassette," 
"Then," said I, "had you better fetch them?" 
which he still seemed slow to do. They were letters 
from my family, df whom I had not heard for 
eleven months, through the post-ofiice irregulari- 
ties of that day. None but such as have been 
in my place can ftilly sympathise in my vexation 
at this tardy delivery of letters. 

We were made as comfortable as possible in 
the gallant little Confiance. Many a happy day 
did I spend in her. She was commanded by 
Lieutenant Grant, R,N,, the son of a banker of 
that name at Portsmouth. 

Our first surveying operations lay among the 
many mouths of the Ri»er St. Clair, They form 
a number of large, marshy islands, of course 



partly in Lake St, Clair. Neither of these, nor 
of the lake, shall I say much topographically, as 
they present no striking features. 

We were three or four days in working our 
way from Amherstburgh to a convenient berth 
in Anchor Bay, near the north-west shore of 
Lake St, Clair, 

When we arrived we found the scenery here 
very pretty, the borders of the lake, for miles 
inland, being a savannah of long, bright green 
grass, with woods in the rear disposed in capes, 
islands, and devious avenues. I was delighted, 
and landed for a run ; but to my surprise, I stepped 
into water ankle-deep, and forthwith returned. 
But a more serious evil was the bad quality of the 
water, as we were to be here for several days, and 
the weather sultry and close. It was tainted and 
discoloured by the dead bodies of a minute pink 
insect, and was only drinkable after straining and 

Our people spent most of the daylight in the 
insular channels, and Lieutenant Grant in sound- 
ing the lake. The natural result of all this was 
sickness ; but while in the lake the only person 
seriously ill was my friend the lieutenant. He 
was attacked by the dangerous fever of the coun- 
try, with great general excitement, delirium, &c. 
&c,, but bleeding and other appropriate remedies 




[' ii 









III g 



brought him roMnd, first, by conversion of the 
continued fever into the remittent, and then into 
common ague, which was driven off by quinine. 

Other membets of the working party were 
attacked more slightly a few days afterwards in 
the River St. Clajr, but in such numbers that the 
survey was disconjtinued for a fortnight. 

From this pestilential spot we removed, in the 
prosecution of our work, to one of the channels 
in the island of St. Mary near Baldoon, amid 
aguish meadows (|f coarse grass, now (1845) cul- 
tivated after a fajshion by various remnants of 
Indian tribes. 

As the place looked very likely for game, and 
the sailors had little to do, permission was given 
to four or five of them to beat up with fowling- 
pieces an open iiarsh of many hundred acres 
close to us, with plumps of wood on the higher 

Towards evenirjg one of the sporting sailors 
came running to the schooner, to say tkat a com- 
rade had shot himself; but he was so breathless 
and frightened, that he could only point in the 
direction of the body about a mile off. Three or 
four of us ran off, and, after a little search, we 
found the unfortunate man quite dead, lying 
across his discharged gun, on his face, which 
was in a pool of blood. The cast-off skin of a 



snake, beautifully perfect, lay near him. As 
there was nothing to point to foul play, we sup- 
posed that he had struck at the seeming snake 
with the butt-end of his gun, and that the gun 
had gone off and lodged its contents in the neck, 
where we found a small round hole close to the 
jugular vessels. 

The seamen — all of us, indeed — were very much 
affected by this deplorable accident, far more so 
than I could have anticipated. 

His companions carefully prepared for his 
grave a strong wooden slab, on which they en- 
graved an epitaph of their own composition. 

The burial-service was read over the remains, 
and listened to with unaffected grief, which did 
not wholly disappear from our countenances 
until we moved to Belle Riviere Island in the 
River St. Clair. I 

There is little to describe in Lake St. Clair. 
It is a round pond exaggerated into a circum- 
ference of ninety miles, extremely shallow, and 
surrounded by marshes and low woods, with 
occasionally an unhappy clearance. The ship- 
channel to Lake Huron is very narrow, and so 
changeable, that it requires fresh buoying every 
spring. Its shallowest part has only a depth of 
6| feet. 

Its principal rivers are the Thames, the Huron, 


fH ' 

I' i 




and the Bear Creeks. I shall only speak a few- 
words on the first, one of the most important 
and picturesque of the second-class streams in 
Canada West. 

It is navigab 
Louisville, thirty 

>le for sloops and steamers to 
miles from its mouth, with an 
average depth of 16 feet, and a breadth of 200- 
300 feet. This river passes through some of the 
finest parts of Canada West, among farming- 
land of the first quality. Many of the farms here 
have been under cultivation for fifty years, and 
have fine orchard^. j 

The flourishing towni of London (eighty-five 
miles from Hamilton in Lake Ontario), with 4000 
inhabitants, is sjituated upon it, as well as 
Chatham, with b, population of nearly 2000, 
sixty-six miles below London. 

We now made 6ur way into the River St. Clair, 
and cast anchor at the head of Belle Riviere 
Island, five or sitx miles from the lake. This 
river runs a tolerably straight course of thirty 
miles long, and from three-quarters to a mile 
and a half broad. Its banks of earth and clay 
are high along tie upper and middle portions, 
but lower down they gradually sink into marshes. 
As before mentioned, the banks of this river 
are, upon the whole, well settled. 

Belle Riviere Is and is so called from the con- 




siderable creek of that name which enters oppo- 
site to it on the south. This island may measure 
about a hundred acres. It is many feet above 
the river, and is, for the most part, covered with 
fine wood. 

We soon cleared sufficient space for three or 
four tents on the bluff" at the upper end, com- 
manding a fine reach, with a line of farms on the 
American side, and on the other a wilderness : 
the whole settlement on the British shore having, 
in 1813-14, been clean swept away, burnt, and 
devastated, in the winter, by the American sol- 
diery, destroying, in its brutality, the means of 
existence of non-combatants. 

A weaker growth of trees, or small, grassy 
openings, with the gables of ruined houses, still 
mark the spots. j 

A beginning was made, in 1821, to re-people 
this fertile district. Now (1847) the whole north 
front of the river is occupied ; and there are the 
two cheerful villages of Sutherland and Talfourd, 
each with its neat Episcopal church smiling upon 
the wilderness. 

We were a week at Belle Riviere. Several 
little characteristic incidents occurred while we 
were there. 

Not always having a boat at my command, I 
remained for the most part on the island. On 



the third day of our stay, scrambling along the 
tangled margin of the island with the intention of 
going round it, I saw, some hundred yards from 
our camp, that th j long grass and coppice were 
beat down and broken into a barely discernible 
pathway. I mounted by it into the thicket, and 
fifty yards from th^ water, hid from all the world, 
I fell in with a squatter's bark hut, in a clearing 
of a hundred square feet, on which were planted 
some potatoes and a few hillocks of Indian corn. 
The door was open, and on the threshold a 
couple of neatly-dressed white women were sit- 
ting at needle-work, mother and daughter, the 
younger being th^ wife of a shoemaker. Their 
little place was clean and tidy. They showed no 
alarm: neither did their stout dog attack me. 
They said that th^ husband was mending shoes 
in the vicinity. 

I have no doub(t but they were in hiding for 
some unpleasant reason. We had been three 
days within 400 yards of them without their 
stirring or approac ling us ; but now we gave the 
man a good deal of employment, and the women 
■washed for us. 

It was from our present encampment that I 
•watched the first labours of a settler in the 
woods, as related ib the excursion to the Ottawa 



One very hot day, the sun in mid-heavens, 
without a friendly cloud to screen us from his 
fierceness, I observed a canoe, with two men in 
it, leave the American shore and make for our 
tents. Their errand was to ask me to visit a 
young man at their house hard by, ill of the 
country fever. Of course I went with them. 

He was a respectable young American from 
Oswego, on the south shore of Lake Ontario, on 
a tour of commercial inquiry, and detained here 
by this sudden attack. 

I found him lying on a hard, uncurtained bed, 
in a large, low room, with the open window 
looking into an orchard of apple and peach-trees, 
then teeming with young fruit. 

My patient was passing from the morbid 
strength of the hot period of a severe remittent 
fever into the languor of the perspiring stage, 
and presented a spectacle which few but medical 
men and clergymen ever see. To use the beau- 
tiful expression of an old French writer, he 
looked like " le roi dtchu des existences de ce 
monde " (the discrowned king of nature). 

As yet, the pink and white features glowed with 
most expressive brightness ; the liquid eye, ver- 
milion-tinted, was full of painful meaning.* 

* In the latter stages of consumption, and in other disturbances 
of the circulation, when the connexion of soul and body is loosen- 

■ I 


\1 1, 



His voice was a \*Lisper, but earnest, and almost 
spasmodic. The face and heaving chest were 
beaded by a thousand drops of moisture ; and 
although his feeble arm, when let go, dropped 
like lead, he was restless, and fought feebly with 
the flies and mosquitoes which always infest the 

I spoke to hipi encouragingly, told him he 
should be well attended to, said that I had been 
at Oswego, and should soon pass through it 
again. He eagerly interrupted me to beg I 
would call on his mother and sister, and threw 
bis eyes on his portmanteau, which was near on 
a chair ; but I begged him not to think of busi- 
ness for a day or two ; and for some moments he 
was quiet. 

ing, an extraordinary and singularly delicate impress of the new 
and angelic life is occasionally stamped on the features at certain 
periods of the day : so, in the hot stage of a severe remittent, the 
general contour becomes full, and the complexion fervidly bril- 
liant, the most ordinary face is rendered beautiful by some new 
arrangement of its parts. Arterial blood is evidently accumulated 
on the surface, and is also stimulating the brain to vivid sensation 
and thought ; so that e»ery part of the frame — every expression, 
tone, and movement — becomes instinct with imwonted eloquence 
and force. I have seen this among the humbler classes repeatedly, 
in persons and places least expected, and in the young of both 
sexes especially. But when the individual has mixed with pious 
persons of superior education, the change is still more striking 
and more lofty. There is then a heavenward tendency, an exalted 
purity and serene joy, most affecting to contemplate. 




He was with kind but ignorant people. The 
case was similar to that from which our com- 
mander was recovering, but the prostration was 
greater. I had some trouble with him, but he 
eventually recovered. 

As we float over the smooth waters of the 
St. Clair, having perhaps just escaped from the 
turbulence of Lake Huron, it is delightful to 
gaze upon the succession of dwellings, low and 
roomy, which its western bank presents, em- 
bowered in orchards, the children playing under 
the far-spreading elms, and the cattle grazing 
in rich meadows ; but if you land, the effect 
is greatly damaged. You are shocked at the 
meagre, sickly appearance of the inhabitants. 
They have the thin white face, the feeble, stoop- 
ing walk of the over-wrought, in-door artizan 
of an European city. Their minds, you find, are 
almost as unready and infirm as their bodies. 
Neither, at the time of my several visits, were 
they blest with the consolations of religion, except 
at distant and irregular periods. 

The vast tracts of marsh lands around are the 
cause of all this, bringing upon the settlers the 
constantly-recurring plague of ague and remit- 
tent fever, to be remedied by drainage sooner or 

VOL. I. 





It is common for the borders of American 
rivers to be dry for a mile or so back, and 
then the land sinks into swampy and rolling 

The American climate is, at best, changeable, 
first exciting and afterwards exhausting. Its 
heat and cold arje in extremes, very often most 
agreeable, exhilarating, from its remarkable dry- 
ness, both in winter and summer. 

Great portions of the unsettled lands in the 
United States are extremely unhealthy : such as 
the south sides of Lakes Ontario and Erie, the 
states of Illinois, Indiana, and Mississippi; while 
Canada, except in the extreme south-west, is all 
but perfectly healthy. I would not wish to live 
in a more salubrious climate than that of the 
Bay of Quinte, t^ River Ottawa, the eastern 
shores of Lake Htiron, and many other places ; 
and I am immeasurably astonished at parties from 
England preferring unwholesome, distant, and 
often lawless parts of the United States, to regions 
of plenty and health in this colony, under laws and 
customs with whiQh they are familiar. 

I have reason to believe that the excessive 
quantity of animal food, which the Americans 
hurry down, injures them seriously ; perhaps 
bringing on in early life what our Irish recruits 
call the meat fever, and giving rise to a weak- 



ened and too excitable state of the alimentary 
canal for the rest of their existence. Then come 
the deleterious agencies of tobacco, ardent spirits, 
and ill-regulated labour. 

Compare the meagre, ill-set frame of the Ame- 
rican farmer, and his haggard, uneasy features, 
with the robust, compact figure of the English 
yeoman, his open, ruddy, smooth face ; and say 
which of the two is the stronger and happier 

In the extensive and fertile districts about Lake 
Erie, and to the south of Lakes Huron and Mich- 
igan, both man and beasts suflFer grievously from 
insects. During the months of June, July, and 
August, mosquitoes torture thick-skinned animals 
even more than man. Fires of wet leaves and 
grass, which give out great volumes of smoke, 
are made for them to run into ; and so anxiously 
do they thus take shelter there, that many of 
them are severely burnt. Animals are much 
troubled here with a fly which I do not see else- 
where. It is of the same shape as the large fly 
of the butchers' shops, but is black, an inch long 
and more, and is armed with a long sheathed lance, 
which enters deep, and brings out the blood in 
streams. They often attack men, as I have per- 
sonally experienced. Their incision is not poison- 
ous, like that of the sand or black fly and mos- 


n ■ 


1*1 ' 

"ff / 




quitoe. We only know that we have been bitten 
by an eflFusion of blood, as if a small vein had been 

Along the Rivers Detroit and St. Clair you may 
see in a meadow a number of cattle trying to feed, 
with their tails in constant motion, when all at 
once perpendicular up goes the tail, and the whole 
troop is cantering round the field, in the vain hope 
of getting rid of the flies. After a time, if pos- 
sible, they rush i^to the water, and there remain 
witt nothing but the nostrils and eyes visible. 
Many a time have I observed the patient eyes of 
the poor beast watching the progress of my canoe, 
and the momentary bobbing into the water of 
their heads to shake off some impudent mosquitoe. 
I was sitting about mid-day in the shade near 
my tent on Belle Jsle, the sky on fire, as is usual 
at that hour, and the gossamer air trembling over 
the shiny river. Having been immersed in one of 
Coleridge's rhymed dreams, I happened to raise 
my eyes, and saw coming down the stream in a 
canoe a strange-looking person standing upright, 
with a double-barifelled fowling-piece in his hand, 
while a boy in the stern was paddling direct for 
our camp. They landed close to me, and climbed 
the little bluff on which I was posted. A more 
singular Robinson Crusoe-like figure I never be- 
held than the elder stranger. 



In the sequel everything was explained. Al- 
though seldom seen on the St. Clair, this gentle- 
man was not unknown, and was called by the 
squatters " the Banished Lord." They knew no 
other name. His speech and bearing at once re- 
vealed that he was an Englishman of distinction. 
How he came there was another thing. Perhaps 
he had been mal-adroit at Boodle's ; or crossed in 
some darling wish ; or else was simply eccentric 
— who knows? I did not then. 

He was a middle-sized, well-made man, slender 
and sinewy, as erect as at twenty-five, although 
evidently much on the wrong side of fifty. He 
had a small, oval, wrinkled face, with the ruddy 
bloom of out-door life still lingering on it. There 
had been a time when he was handsome and very 
fair. His eyes were grey, bold, and uneasy ; the 
jiose rather high and well-formed, as well as his 
lips ; and he could not stand steady, on account 
of a little nervous twitch which was always at 
work somewhere. He had on a rusty, napless, 
but well-shaped hat, with some turns of cord 
round it. His coat was green, single-breasted, 
built in the year one, and patched with drabs and 
greens of all hues and shapes, evidently with his 
own hands, with white thread, most unskilfully. 
Two or three coils of leather thongs hung in 
his coat button-boles, as if to carry home game 


"( i' 





With. The firsi time I saw him he had no 
waistcoat; but a coarse clean shirt covered his 
chest, crossed with a silver watch-guard ; but in 
cooler weather he wore a deer-skin vest up to 
his throat. His pantaloons were of faded blue 
calico, fitting loosely, and tightened below the 
knee with leather straps. His foot-wear was 
the strong mocassin, the best of all for woods 
and rocks. 

His young scamp of a boy was in corduroy and 
cap, and was soon lying on the grass looking at 
the sun through his fingers. 

" Sir," said my visitor, when he had made good 
his footing beside me, " it is very seldom that an 
Englishman is met with in these waters ; we see 
him pass -that i* all. I heard, at my place on 
the Bear Creek, oj your surveyors planting their 
little red and white flags up and down the St. 
Clair, so I thought I would take a peep at you 
and knock over a turkey on the way ; but I have 
had no sport as yet. Seeing that you are at ease 
and idle on this bright working-day, what office 
do you hold in the camp ?" 

" I have the honour to be, sir," I said, in reply, 
" medico to the Boundary Commission, and British 
secretary. I may surely say that we are honoured 
by your visit. I am sorry my friends are out on 
duty, and that the Commissioners themselves are 




not with us." He then asked a variety of parti- 
culars about our proceedings. 

The secluded life of the banished lord seemed 
to have blunted no faculty. He was not a hollow- 
eyed misanthrope ; but, with a dash of the eccen- 
tric, was full of right thoughts ; and fitting expres- 
sions for them were found at will. 

As I was on the wing, and not likely to intrude 
into his den on the Bear Creek, he was pleased to 
talk freely with me. He took a gloomy view of 
the domestic state of Great Britain, and expressed 
his satisfaction at having escaped from an im- 
pending storm, from the great conflict he saw- 
about to arise between the popular will and 
George the Fourth's camarilla. 

" There are," said he, " vast qu'^stions, reli- 
gious, political, and commercial, to be settled, 
by many destructive oscillations between ex- 
tremes, and hundreds of thousands will pay in 
purse or person. Then, sir, I see a very bad sign 
in great force. Property of all kinds is centring 
in vast masses, while the millions are in the deep- 
est poverty. In England, destitution will not sit 
tamely down by the side of repletion. The king 
cares not to see this ; and the great party now at 
the helm of state will not. The people are si- 
lently educating for the struggle ; and it will 
take place in my day. Therefore I fled, as have 












I' k i 




done many otheits ; but most of them into the 
United States * As I have had in my day a good 
fill of London lift, and am passionately fond of 
field sports, I rusl^ed into the most solitary wild I 
could find. I wds led by mere chance to Bear 
Creek, in Sombr^. It abounds in game of all 
kinds— the deer, moose, wolf, bear, water-fowl, 
turkey, and so forih. My patch of land lies high, 
m a dry section, afid we live in health and plenV 
It is true, and I confess it, I have been too im- 
petuous. The change was too violent and sudden 
for my poor wife, who, although she had to suffer 
much from my relatives, and gladly escaped 
from them, yet she drooped and wearied in our 
lone place, and wa$ every day missing some little 
comfort or other. I could have had all I enjoy here, 
within fifty miles of Montreal, with easy access • 
to gossip and female fal-lals. She died about four 
years ago. And nOw a new and pressing concern 
has grown up —what to do with two boys and a 
girl ; and, truth to tell, I get stiffer in the joints ; 
so that 1 am now pondering on a return to civil- 
ized life for the education of my children." 
The exile had all the talk to himself He par- 

* At this period two or three gentlemen gave me these reasons 
in nearly the same words for withdrawing themselves and their pro. 
pert-yfrom England. Thay were nervous persons, and liable to 
act on sudden impulses. 



took of some refreshment, and took a courteous 
leave. His home was six or seven miles into the 
•woods, along a blaze, a little distance lower down 
the river. I saw him again at Fort St. Clair, our 
next station on this stream, at the mouth of the 
Black River, a large affluent from the south. 

I had in the meantime obtained some informa- 
tion about him ; but his name I did not learn. 
His reserve and lofty manner, together with some 
command of money, had procured for him his 
bye-name.* He had been a good husband. His 
small farm was in tolerable order. His singular 
dress must have been a whim. He made no 
companions, save one or two good shots, who 
lived ten miles from him ; and now and then he 
had a hurricane tobacco-smoke with a renowned 
Indian hunter. 

At Fort St. Clair he brought me his daughter, 
ten years old — a handsome, freckled, sunburnt 
lass,' and somewhat delicate in appearance ; but 
full of spirits, as she did not know the object of 
her visit ; which was to have a surplus tooth ex- 
tracted : this, of course, was done — but re- 

* While not very young he had made a miiallianee with a beau- 
tiful and gentle girl, who joyfully vowed in an English drawing- 
room to follow the man of her heart anywhere — across the ocean, 
2uid into the wilderness ; but she sank under the rudeness, the 
gloom, and strangeness of her new abode. 



• \ 



luctantly. I d) not like pulling at ladies' teeth. 
They never forgive you ; but you are to them an 
executioner for all time. 

I suggested to the- father the propriety of send- 
ing this forest-maid to England, or at least to a 
good school at Toronto or Kingston ; and he took 
nay words in good part. 

In the Canadas remarkable persons are con- 
tinually turning up. The Chevalier and Madame 
de Brosse are not the only members of the old 
court of France in the western country. I have 
repeatedly passed the house (then shut np, and 
going to ruin) of the Count and Countess of K., 
persons of high consideration in France before 
1790, now long since dead. They had no child- 
ren, and literally shut themselves up in a Swiss 
cottage, which they built on the Niagara frontier. 
It had a heavy roof, and two wooden galleries 
running round it. 

I was extremely pleased (as well as surprised) 
one Sunday in the woods by a sermon preached 
by a meek old clergyman, passionless quite, ex- 
ternally, in a little church hid in a wood, and 
hardly holding thirty persons. I asked an old 
farmer how it came that such piety and such elo- 
quence were so buried in that out-of-the-world 
nook ? " Mr. Addison," replied he, « is beloved 
far and wide ; but he won't quit his first haven 



of rest. Thirty years ago he came here from 
England a broken-hearted widower, with two 
little daughters. They are married and gone ; 
but he will not go till soul and body part." 

I could easily increase this list, if necessary. 

The survey having been completed from lake 
St. Clair up to and beyond Belle Isle, the camp 
was moved to the mouth of the Black River, ten 
miles higher up, the British bank being then a 
forest, and the American occupied by good farms, 
the brisk and sparkling river running between. 

We took possession of a deserted orchard, thirty 
feet above the St. Clair, and close to the site of an 
old French fort, on the left bank of the Black 

The astronomer and all his party left me here 
for the head of the St. Clair, intending to survey 
homewards. The bulk of the stores remained 
with me. 

I only saw my friends once in the three weeks 
of my stay there : company I had none but my 
servant. There was a large house about three 
hundred yards off; but it only contained two wo- 
men and some small shy children. My sight was 
now and then gladdened by a schooner dropping 
lazily down the stream, or by the quicker flight of 
a canoe. 

The weather (June 10) was for a week truly 







dreadful. For a moment I thought of de- 
serting my chprge. Every evening brought its 
severe thunderstorm and torrents of rain. The 
lightning every ten minutes during the tempest 
plunged into t^e surrounding woods in compara- 
tively thick columns. Trees and cattle were 
struck; and a woman was so excited by the 
proximity of oMe flash, that I bled her with be- 
nefit. One dark and stormy night, although my 
tent was shelteTed by trees, the wind blew it down 
while I was asjeep. I thought the wet canvas 
would have si^fFocated me ; and I was only re- 
leased after mikch exertion. 

The clouds riever left our sky ; the mornings 
were gloomy ; but it was in the evening that the 
tempests occurted. The Black River rose, and 
brought down an abundance of mud and trees. 

One night, ^ little before dusk, as I stood by 
its margin, watching the large tree-roots and the 
entangled masses of turf and stones as they swept 
down the boiling stream, three men on horseback, 
with large-caped great-coats, came to the oppo- 
site bank, travellers evidently. They shouted for 
the ferryman ; but there was no such official ; and 
my servant had been taken for the survey in place 
of a boatman laid up with fever. There lay 
close to me a large pirogue (a hollowed tree- 
trunk), with a good deal of water in it. But who 




was to navigate such a ticklish water-machine ? 
— none but myself, utterly inexperienced in that 
sort of navigation. | 

I did not like either the vessel or the troubled 
stream ; but, after a little more shouting, I caught 
the word " Mission ! " when the thought struck 
ine — partly jocosely, I fear — that if I was to be 
drowned it could not be in a better cause. So I 
fetched a bowl, and baled the rain-water out of 
the pirogue ; and, seizing a broad, heavy paddle, 
loosed my bark, with no little trepidation, and 
drove her to the opposite shore. At three trips 
we then took the men and horses across. By this 
time it was becoming dusk, 

I ran over to the large house, and asked shelter 
for the dripping horses, and for a little butter ; 
for the party consisted of my friend. Captain 
Stewart, and two American clergymen, on their 
way to establish a mission among the Saguina 
Indians, on the fertile banks of a river of that 
name in Lake Huron. 

I was delighted with my guests, and forthwith 
covered the two short planks which formed my 
table with biscuit, chocolate, and some savoury 
salt pork. Then having placed the large kettle 
full of water on the fire, I had done my best. 

" Captain Stewart," said I, " all the articles 
that are on the table belong to the King of Eng- 




land. Do you think it right to refresh your re- 
publican friends with them ?" 

" Yes," he answered, " for they are the servants 
of the King of kings. But," he went on to say, 
" we have not travelled far to-day ; could not Mr. 
Hudson address a little congregation after sup- 
per? The few settlers here are far from church or 
chapel ; it would be a pity to let such an oppor- 
tunity slip." 

As the night was creeping on, I ran again to the 
house (which I had never approached till that day), 
and prevailed upon the females to give us the use 
of their largest room, and to light it up with four 
home-made candles firmly stuck into the plas- 
tered walls. Not only that, but they started oflf a 
girl, bareheaded, into the bog for some Irish fami- 
lies, while I ran half-a-mile up the river-side, to 
tell the people of four huts there that a prayer- 
meeting would be held at Mrs. Palmer's in twenty 

At half-past nine o'clock we entered the lighted- 
up room, and Were agreeably surprised to find 
thirty persons assembled — straight-haired, long- 
faced Yankees, with their wives and children ; 
some shock-headed Irish, all shining with haste, 
and taking the aflfair partly as a show, and partly 
for instruction. 

The service was conducted in the Presbyterian 



method, almost wholly by the Rev. Mr. Hudson ; 
his brother missionary and Captain Stewart only 
adding a few sentences ; the latter in his usual 
brief, direct, and soldier-like style. 

An easy tune to well-known words enabled most 
of the assembly to join in the hymn. The sermon 
was very suitable. The attention was great, and 
much thankfulness afterwards expressed.' 

The Irish were such freckled, red-headed, tho- 
rough Celts, with the characteristic massy jaws, 
that I have no doubt but they were Roman Ca- 
tholics ; if so, their presence in that assemblylwas 
creditable to them. 

Our three friends slept on the floor of the room 
which they had consecrated , and early next morn- 
ing they were on their journey. 

This seems not an unfitting place for a few de- 
sultory remarks on missions to the Indians, sug- 
gested by the visit which has been just described. 

Are we to be contented with the puny efforts at 
present in operation towards making this finely- 
oi^anised and impressible race of red men ac- 
quainted with the blessings of the Christian reli- 
gion ? Is it enough to be idly repeating "the 
wordless mourning of the dove ? " Should we not 
be doing ? 

In 1848 there were 14,000 Indians in the Ca- 
nadas, and very many more in the Hudson's Bay 















territories, while the missionaries were extremely 

I am persuaded that there is not an inhabited 
place on the earth's surface where a Christian, 
with God's blessing, may not convert souls, and 
raise a church and churches. Nothing can with- 
stand theexcelUnce and loveliness of Gospel prin- 
ciples arrayed in the brightness of a Gospel life. 
Success is not doubtful. It is simply an affair of 
time, patience, and prayer. 

The following Indian stations should be occu- 
pied immediately : — The Rice Lake, on Lake 
Ontario; the Sheriff Valley, on the Ottawa; the 
River St. Clair; Penetanguishene ; the Falls of 
St. Mary ; the Rainy Lake and River ; the Sas- 
katchawine, and its many branches ; the Peace 
River ; and many points on the sides of the 
Rocky Mountains, 

These may suflSce for the present ; for faith is 
weak, and love is cold. Englishmen have pitched 
so high the standard of personal comforts and 
family display, that there is but a small surplus 
left with which to scatter blessings. Evangelisa- 
tion is expensive^ and requires support from with- 
out. The rich will not go ; at least none that I 
know of, since good Dean Berkley went to Ber- 
muda a hundred years ago. It is even difficult to 
find a suitable paid missionary. It is sad to think 



that the maintenance of the missionary interest at 
home and the collection of the necessary funds 
are only accomplished by the super-human ex- 
ertions of a few, who leave no decent means un- 
tried, no argument unpressed, and no corner of 
England unvisited, in behalf of this best of causes- 

I desire chiefly and emphatically to insist upon 
this great point — that, if possible, missionaries 
should go out in numbers together, and act upon 
fixed principles, under the guidance of a respon- 
sible local head, to whom you mUy give any name 
you please. Missions should not be, as hitherto, 
established piecemeal and fortuitously, but accord- 
ing to some well-digested plan, taking in the pre- 
sent and future wants of a considerable region. 
Hitherto, in our schemes, we have not looked 
into the bright future, but have been confined to 
the limited prospects of to-day.| 

It has too frequently been forgotten that con- 
version from heathenism includes civilization ; 
that therefore conversion brings new wants, new- 
sensations, and new decencies ; for all which 
there should be provision. 

In the Indian countries of North America, the 
missionary should be enabled to show in a strikino- 
manner that the practice of Christianity is great 
gain in this life. He should therefore be accom- 
panied from our shores by a considerable staff' of 

VOL. I. Y 











. U ' 




ministrations, w 

ich should fertilize and sanctify 

assistants, ready to operate upon the heathen mind 
in a variety of ways simultaneously — as through 
the schoolmasteil, the medical man, the cultivator, 
and the various artisans, as well as hy his own 
the whole. 

I The permissio i of the authorities (such as they 
are) of the district to be operated upon having 
been obtained, a model village should be esta- 
blished as a palpable object, showing forth all the 
privileges, comforts, and security of the Christian 
economy. The Indian should be invited to reside 
in the village ; tlje young men and women should 
1)6 taken into the missionary-house as helpers, and 
as near witnesses to the amenities and graces of 
a Christian houjsehold. They will be the first 
converts, j 

Schools, the chief means of conversion for the 
first twenty years), should be gradually established. 
The necessity fori continuous labour must be cau- 
tiously insinuated, because the savage is extremely 
averse from it. The many simpler arts of agri- 
culture or maniifacture should be taught ; and, 
above most things, the weak, aged, and sick 
should be fed, cured, and cared for. 

If these points be kept in view in any tolerable 
manner, and the Gospel at the same time plainly 
and affectionately preached, by the blessing of 



God, in due season, the result wished for — conver- 
sions not only numerous but permanent, will fol- 
low ; chiefly, however, among the young and very 
young, rarely among the middle-aged and old, who 
will have to die off, as a rule, with occasional gra- 
tifying exceptions. Their minds are so bricked 
up with heathen habits and prejudices, that the 
good news can scarce enter. Meeting with no 
response in their hearts, it is an unknown sound, 
and has no significance. 

Thus, the grand system of converting the In- 
dians is to provide as many large regions as pos- 
sible with some such centre of Christian civiliza- 
tion as that just adverted to, with ramifications 
here and there, as circumstances point out, the 
branches superintended if possible by natives. 

This plan economises labour, and greatly hastens 
the appearing and ripening of fruit. It is espe- 
cially adapted to the rude populations of North 
America, Africa, and the South Seas. 

The relief thus brought to the clerical mission- 
ary by the division of labour and by the sustain- 
ing proximity of friends is enormous ; it quad- 
ruples his forces. 

I speak the more earnestly, inasmuch as I have 
looked upon the dejected face of the solitary 
labourer among the heathen, bowed to the eartli 
by weakness and anxiety within ; and without, by 




the perversity and fickleness of his converts, and 
the active rage of his enemies. 

These missionary communities ^vere one great 
means of propagating the Christianity of the mid- 
dle ages. St. Bernard planted hisClair.aux amonjr 
marshes and woods, far away from ordinary society" 
These deserts he and his companions drained and 
cultivated ; by thejr kindness and wisdom attract- 
ing, m the course of time, a large and prosperous 
population, untoucihed by the desolating wars of 
those dreadful times. There were then manv 
such social and religious asylums in Europe or 
man must have been extirpated ; and each had its 
off-sets, sanctuaries of knowledge and help, to 
which the regions iround gratefully resorted 

Something like this has been practised by Brit- 
ish missionary societies in modern times, but not 
fully and systematibally. I plead for this as the 
best and most effectual method. 

The Christians of the United States, in their 
missions to the Osage, Sioux, and other Indians 
have long made use of associate groups of labour- 
ers, and their success has been proportionate. 

One of the most comely spectacles in the world 
IS exhibited in the United States, when one of 
these missionary bodies is travelling from some 
city on the shores of the Atlantic westward to the 
Indian countries. iThey journey all together. 



The time of their arrival being previously known 
at the towns and principal villages on the route, 
they are met at convenient distances, and, after a 
short interval of cordial greetings and prayer, are 
escorted with singing into the town, where they 
are entertained by the chief inhabitants. The 
evangelists depart in the same way, and are often 
laden with such gifts as are likely to be of use in 
the wilderness. 

This apostolic tribute of respect and sympathy 
frequently occurs. I wish it were constant. 

I have reason to believe that the American 
Board of Missions will not suffer their agents to 
accept of or purchase land from the natives under 
any pretence. This is a point upon which all 
barbarous people are peculiarly sensitive and 
jealous. Missionaries are not to pay themselves 
in this way. Their motives must be beyond sus- 
picion. No policy can be more injurious to the 
cause of missions than that of grasping or even 
accepting land. A great English missionary 
society, otherwise admirably conducted, has 
made the unhappy mistake of permitting its 
missionaries to acquire land from the natives; 
with great reluctance, doubtless.* An associa- 
tion of Quakers at Philadelphia, some years 
ago, sent a mixed body of preachers and artisans 

* Vide Report for 1849. 


f ! 

i J 



to the Pawnees (or Osages). The Indians granted 
them permission! to occupy from three hundred 
to four hundre4 acres of land. They became 
greatly attached to the wise and patient strangers, 
Jbnd of their feocicty, and received from them daily 
benefits in the shape of clothing, medicine, repa- 
ration of tools, education, counsel, and especially, 
what was fast bjeginning to appear of the most 
importance, the message of heavenly peace. All 
was prospering, when enemies to the Gospel from 
a distance interposed their opinions. " This is 
the way of the pale faces," said they ; " they are 
enslaving you. Your land they have, and strong 
houses upon it. They will soon have your hunt- 
ing-grounds and yourselves. Go into the white 
country. Have they charmed their own people 
to be such fool$ as you are?" The Indians de- 
serted the mission. The Friends immediately 
perceived the change and the cause of it. They 
■were ordered by their employers at Philadelphia 
to break up and come home directly. The Paw- 
nees did not hinder them ; but in a little time 
they discovered the loss they had sustained. 
Some few, froraj the first, were inconsolable from 
honest affectioi^; more regretted the lost helps 
and comforts ; the birds ate up their ill-sown and 
neglected com ; the guns, hoes, and spade were 
useless. They had begun to delight in,the Bible, 



but there was no interpreter. They were at their 
■wits' end, until they resolved to send a deputation 
a thousand miles to Philadelphia to bring back 
their benefactors at any price. The Quakers 
returned. ( Weyland on Population.) 

If there seem so much ground to be occupied, 
and the means so scanty as not to permit the 
planting of large missionary societies, a mar- 
ried missionary, with or without a schoolmaster, 
is the next best method of conducting this excel- 
lent work. Their strength should be principally 
spent among the young, and in the formation of 
schools for both sexes. From hence comes the 
main harvest. Itinerancy, for the purpose of 
preaching and the distribution of tracts, need not 
be neglected, but it should be quite a secondary 
object at a new station. While little impression 
is thus made upon the older people, a great injury 
is done to the health of the missionary by the un- 
avoidable exposure to the sun. A room or chapel 
must be set apart at or near the missionary pre- 
mises for the regular celebration of Divine service, 
to which the natives should be kindly and urgently 


If missionary societies were to establish a 
system of periodic inspection by persons of piety, 
influence, and practical wisdom, the benefit 
would be great. Mr. Backhouse and his friend were 

r I 


■ n^ 



of very conside^ble service in visiting at their 
own charges the numerous missionary stations in 
South Africa, the Mauritius, and elsewhere. 

The publication of the report of such tours 
would pay the greater part of the expense ; and, 
now that steam pervades all lands, the labour and 
loss of time would not be great. Such publica- 
tion would stimulate and comfort the distant mis- 
sionary, and vindicate him when unjustly accused, 
for evil tales are not wanting in the South Seas, &c. 
It would rectify miistakes,.and stop rising abuses. 
It is my conviction that ^ur missionaries in the 
mass are doing their work well, and are thoroughly 
worthy of our esteem and support. 

Missionaries should be adapted to their spheres 
of action. Send the scholar and the controver- 
sialist to the Mahometans, the Chinese, and Hin- 
doos, men of disciplined minds and literary tastes. 
Send the plain man of God, of a simple character 
and [patient, famifiar with the common arts of 
domestic life, to t le uncivilised tribes of North 
America, &c. | 

Too much tim^, I fear, has hitherto been 
allotted to Latin and Greek in our missionary 
institutions ;— not that they are to be altogether 
thrown aside, but I am clear that they have 
greatly usurped thei place of more practical things, 
such as some acquaintance with medicine and 



surgery (the great recommendation in heathen 
lands), the management of schools, the use of 
tools, the reclaiming of wild land. Every mis- 
sionary should spend a little time at an agricul- 
tural college. A great part of the value of a mis- 
sionary, it should never be forgotten, lies in his 
being a good administrator, the skilful director of 
a group of minds not so gifted as his own. 

These things will teach the servant of God, 
among other things, how to provide occupation 
(so indispensable to the best of us) for his convert, 
and how to enable that convert to earn his own 
independent bread, — a power so elevating to the 
individual, and so carefully insisted on in the 
Scriptures. The change from the heathen to the 
Christian often involves a total change in the mode 
of subsistence, and is one of the greatest obstacles 
met with in hunting and pastoral countries. 

Who have been the most successful missionaries? 
Not the men of high collegiate attainments. They 
are invaluable as translators ; but the great pion- 
eers, the most eminent cross-bearers, those who 
have sweetly drawn multitudes into the Gospel net, 
are Brainerd,Swartz, Moffat, Freeman, Cochran,* 

* A schoolmaster in 1825 in a secluded village in Nottingham- 
shire, and afterwards eminently successful as an ordained minister 
of the Church of England at the Red River Settlement, Hudson's 



John Williams, who fell at Rarotonga, and the 
two brothers Wi Hams of New Zealand* These 
many, all full of Bible principles, 

are a few among 

• The two Willian^s' are from the same coimty as Cochran. 
Their usefulness has Ijieen so great, and their preparation for the 
work so appropriate, as to be unraistakeably providential. 

Their mother was a pious and talented lady. She devoted her- 
self exclusively to the education of her numerous family ; first and 
foremost, doubtless, iflibuing them with her own personal interest 
in the Saviour and his Igrand designs. 

In secular matters iier method was that of Pestalozzi, before 
his day. She familiarized her children with the origin, nature, 
and uses of every objpct that met their eye. In a large work- 
room given up to thetti, they were taught to delight in the use 
of tools and how to construct boxes, tables, ships, globes, 
philosophical instruments, &c. &c. Every child too had his own 

Reverses in fortune soon afterwards followed, in which she and 
hers were blameless victims. 

Henry, the elder bj-other, entered the navy, obtained a lieu- 
tenancy, and long boile the buffetings of the sea. Being placed 
on half-pay, he marritd wisely, and in no long time sailed as a 
missionary in the service of the Church Missionary Society, in 
1822, to New Zealand, then in the undisturbed possession of the 

His younger brother William was (and is) of a remarkably mild 
disposition. He for sopne years studied medicine at Southwell, &c., 
but in the end was received into holy orders, and followed his 
brother Henry. These brothers were from the first unconsciously 
fitting for hardships an4 perils under the eye of a Christian mother, 
who, it is pleasant to record, saw the fruit long waited for. 

Hence in New Zealand they were prepared to face the savages, 
to build houses, a missionary ship, make furniture, and thus, as- 
sisted by their Wesleyan missionary brethren, they became the 
honoured instruments of causing the desolations of heathenism 
to disappear before the felicities of the Christian religion. 



of great practical skill in governing and educating 

These men have been mostly taken from a rank 
of life somewhat below that from which the Epis- 
copal clergy are taken. They have not been too 
delicately brought up, and are ready to meet 
cheerfully great personal privations. 

The class of men especially fitted for this work 
are farmers' sons of piety, good constitution, and 
skilled in country labours. A large acquaintance 
with the Bible, and some knowledge of languages, 
are also necessary. Such Jiave hitherto been the 
best VVesleyan missionaries. 

I think I see a long line of efficient and pious 
labourers in this field, about to spring from the 
new order of schoolmasters and mistresses prepar- 
ing, by the help of government grants, from 
among city missionaries, and from the colonies 

The colonies now contain a large and stirring 
population. I have seen in the Canadas several 
young men well adapted to American missionarj- 
work, but there is great reason to expect difficulties 
and opposition to any great and liberal effijrt from 
the known ultra high-church principles of some 
of our colonial bishops. 

Lest I write a pamphlet, I must now return to 
the St. Clair and Lake Erie. 



i i 




of very considerable service in visiting at their 
own charges the numerous missionary stations in 
South Africa, the Mauritius, and elsewhere. 

The publication of the report of such tours 
would pay the greater part of the expense ; and, 
now that steam pervades all lands, the labour and 
loss of time would not be great. Such publica- 
tion would stimulate and comfort the distant mis- 
sionary, and vindicate him when unjustly accused, 
for evil tales are not wanting in the South Seas, &c! 
It would rectify mistakes, and stop rising abuses. 
It is my conviction that our missionaries in the 
mass are doing their work well, and are thoroughly 
worthy of our esteem and support. 

Missionaries shonld be adapted to their spheres 
of action. Send the scholar and the controver- 
sialist to the Mahometans, the Chinese, and Hin- 
doos, men of disciplined minds and literary tastes. 
Send the plain man of God, of a simple character 
and [patient, familiar with the common arts of 
domestic life, to the uncivilised tribes of North 
America, &c. 

Too much time, I fear, has hitherto been 
allotted to Latin and Greek in our missionary 
institutions;— not that they are to be altogether 
thrown aside, but I am clear that they have 
greatly usurped the place of more practical things, 
such as some acquaintance with medicine aod 




surgery (the great recommendation in heathen 
lands), the management of schools, the use of 
tools, the reclaiming of wild land. Every mis- 
sionary should spend a little time at an agricul- 
tural college. A great part of the value of a mis- 
sionary, it should never be forgotten, lies in his 
being a good administrator, the skilful director of 
a group of minds not so gifted as his own. 

These things will teach the servant of God, 
among other things, how to provide occupation 
(so indispensable to the best of us) for his convert, 
and how to enable that convert to earn his own 
independent bread,— a power so elevating to the 
individual, and so carefully insisted on in the 
Scriptures. The change from the heathen to the 
Christian often involves a total change in the mode 
of subsistence, and is one of the greatest obstacles 
met with in hunting and pastoral countries. 

Who have been the most successful missionaries? 
Kot the men of high collegiate attainments. They 
are invaluable as translators ; but the great pion- 
eers, the most eminent cross-bearers, those who 
have sweetly drawn multitudes into the Gospel net, 
areBrainerd,Swartz, MoflFat, Freeman, Cochran,* 

* A schoolmaster in 1825 in a secluded village in Nottingham- 
sliire, and afterwards eminently successful as an ordained minister 
of the Church of England at the Red River Settlement, Hudson's 





John Williams, who fell at Rarotonga, and the 
two brothers Williams of New Zealand.* These 
are a few among many, all full of Bible principles, 

• The two WilliaiJis' are from the same county as Cochran. 
Their usefvUness has been so great, and their preparation for the 
work so appropriate, 4s to be unraistakeably providential. 

Their mother was a pious and talented lady. She devoted her- 
self exclusively to the education of her numerous family ; first and 
foremost, doubtless, iftibuing them with her own personal interest 
in the Saviour and hisi grand designs. 

In secular matters her method was that of Pestalozzi, before 
his day. She familiarized her children with the origin, nature, 
and uses of every object that met their eye. In a large work- 
room given up to th^m, they were taught to delight in the use 
of tools and how to construct boxes, tables, ships, globes, 
philosophical instruments, &c. &c. Every child too had his own 

Reverses in fortune soon afterwards followed, in which she and 
hers were blameless victims. 

Henry, the elder brother, entered the navy, obtained a lieu- 
tenancy, and long bore the buffetings of the sea. Being placed 
on half-pay, he marriied wisely, and in no long time sailed as a 
missionary in the service of the Church Missionary Society, in 
1822, to New Zealand, then in the undisturbed possession of the 

His younger brother William was (and is) of a remarkably mild 
disposition. He for sqme years studied medicine at Southwell, Sec., 
but in the end was received into holy orders, and followed his 
brother Henry. These brothers were from the first unconsciously 
fitting for hardships and perils under the eye of a Christian motiier, 
who, it is pleasant to record, saw the fruit long waited for. 

Hence in New Zealand they were prepared to face the savages, 
to build houses, a missionary ship, make furniture, and thus, as- 
sisted by their Wesleyan missionary brethren, they became the 
honoured instruments of causing the desolations of heathenism 
to disappear before the felicities of the Christian religion. 

% * 



of great practical skill in governing and educating 
barbarians. [ 

These men have been mostly taken from a rank 
of life somewhat below that from which the Epis- 
copal clergy are taken. They have not been too 
delicately brought up, and are ready to meet 
cheerfully great personal privations. 

The class of men especially fitted for this work 
are farmers' sons of piety, good constitution, and 
skilled in country labours. A large acquaintance 
with the Bible, and some knowledge of languages, 
are also necessary. Such have hitherto been the 
best Wesleyan missionaries. 

I think I see a long line of efficient and pious 
labourers in this field, about to spring from the 
new order of schoolmasters and mistresses prepar- 
ing, by the help of government grants, from 
among' city missionaries, and from the colonies 


The colonies now contain a large and stirring 
population. I have seen in the Canadas several 
young men well adapted to American missionary 
work, but there is great reason to expect difficulties 
and opposition to any great and liberal effort from 
the known ultra high-church principles of some 
of our colonial bishops. 

Lest I write a pamphlet, I must now return to 
the St. Clair and Lake Erie. 




II ■ 

• - 



Having finished our survey of these waters, we 
left Fort St. Clair on the 1st or 2d of July ; very 
gladly on my pa|i-t, for although pretty confident 
in the powers of my constitution, I did not like 
the kind of country. Clearances having greatly 
extended since 1821 , it may be more healthy now. 

We sailed in the Confiance to Amherstburgh, 
where for a fortnight or so we took leave of that 
pleasant vessel. 

After a day spent in refitting and revictualling, 
we left in our o\Tn roomy barge for a spot on the 
shore of Lake Erie, near " The Settlement," in 
the township of Colchester. 

We embarked after an early dinner on a still 
and sultry day. Gliding gently past the pic- 
turesque and ncit unenvied cottages which stud 
the Detroit river-side, the last being that of my 
friends the Cheyalier and Madame de Brosse.we 
entered the bro^d expanse of Lake Erie; — no 
land in sight, Southerly, except a few specks, 
called the Sister Isles, and the low mainland, no- 
where visible foi] any distance. 

We hugged the north or British shore for 
twelve miles, w|th just enough water to float in. 

For much of jthe way it was not easy to point 
out the actual mjargin of the lake. There was a 
curious intermingling of forest, grassy savannahs, 
and clear water. On narrow ridges of land were 



growing most august plane-trees in prolonged 
rows, with a magnificent profusion of leafage. 
Other trees in drier situations, such as the oak, 
chestnut, black walnut, were remarkably fine, such 
as the Huron and other northerly districts cannot 
boast of. 

Upon the long and tortuous roots of trees which 
jut into tlie lake, tenapins (fresh-water turtles) 
were in hundreds, with their little twinkling eyes, 
sitting as quiet as mice, but plunging by dozens 
into the water as we approached. They are from 
six to ten inches long, and prettily marked. 

Entangled among these tree-roots, rocked by 
the waves, we saw a poor dead deer, which, from 
the freshness of its dapple skin, must have been 
alive that day. 

After a few miles of this low umbrageous 
country, " a world of leaves, and dews, and sum- 
mer airs," rises a line of earthy clifis, from thirty 
to one hundred and fifty feet high, which con- 
tinues for many leagues, nay, throughout the 
principal part of the north shore of Lake Erie. 

We pitched our tents about five miles from the 
north end of these clifi"s, on their flat summit, one 
hundred and fifty feet above the lake, and com- 
manding a very striking range of view. 

Standing with my back to the lake, and looking 
northward from my tent-door, the eye swept over 





a vast surface — many miles — of low lands and 
marsh, beginning almost at our feet ; an undulat- 
ing and all but impassable jungle, full of ponds, 
reeds, alders, vines, willows, and such-like in the 
hollows, and of the harder woods in the little 
land that is dn, all of unusual luxuriance, and 
teeming with animal life, from the panther, the 
bear, the eagle, and the rattlesnake, down to the 
smallest insect (hat plies the wing. This pestifer- 
ous morass discharges its surplus waters by the 
Canard Creek ipto the River Detroit. 

Close to us runs the rarely-trodden Talbot 
Road, skirting tthe whole of this side of Lake Erie, 
more or less prsicticable, and here overgrown with 
young trees, arrlong which the graceful foliage of 
the sumach preponderates, — a sure indication of 
mosquitoes inniiimerable. 

Turning round and looking south from our tents, 
we had before us the wide expanse of Lake Erie 
(for we had cut away the intervening shrubbery to 
let in the breeze). There was the opposite coast of 
Ohio, grey in the distance, and the intermediate 
waters, ornamented with groups of woody isles, 
from the leafy depths of some of which (the British) 
the smoke of ai free negro hut arose, — an incense 
grateful to the Almighty Father of all, who hateth 

The whole day after our arrival it had rained 



in torrents, but in the evening the weather cleared 
up, and I ventured out for a walk eastward down 

the lake. 

I had scarcely gone a mile when I met an 
illustrious group of travellers in most undignified 
pickle, just where the road was a mere track 
overgrown with coppice. It was no less than 
the Governor-General of British North America 
and suite, part on horseback and part in a country 
cart, all looking as jaded, and downcast, and 
saturated with moisture, as if they had been 
dragged through and through a mill-pond for 
their misdeeds. 

I did not fail to show due reverence, and to 
offer the poor comforts of my tent; but, after 
receiving directions as to his route, the Earl of 
of Dalhousie wisely determined to continue his 
journey through the bush, sixteen miles more, to 
Amherslburgh, while there was light ; for httle 
had been done to the road further than to fell 
the tre§s and border it with a ditch. I do not 
for<retQiat I was served with more than one 
ejectment into the raspberry bushes in travelling 
slowlv and doubtingly along this same highway. 

I also found my way one day westwards for a 
couple of miles. There I met with what is^.^ 
called " The Settlement," twelve or fourteen de- 
cent cottages, standing apart in a line, each with. 



its cleared land 'behind. There may be many- 
more, but I did not see them. The inhabitants 
■were evidently decent, industrious people. 

Close to the lake, in front of the Settlement, 
was an Episcopal church, with a tower of white 
limestone, nearly finished. 

There is now a Baptist chapel also. 

When I was there the religious wants of the 
people were differently supplied, and in the man- 
ner shown in th^ following little narrative : — 

Towards dusk, on Saturday evening, I was 
sitting before n^y tent, thankful for the cool air 
from the waters^ and examining some bright red 
sand I had found at the foot of the cliff, which 
proved lo be small garnets, when a boy, while he 
tapped my shouHder, suddenly whispered into my 
ear, " There will be preaching at Widow Little's 
of the Settlemertt, at nine to-morrow morning." 

Before I could thank him the boy was gone ; 
and I ought to lave mentioned, that a couple of 
hours before I had been roused by the heavy, 
measured fall of! a horse's foot, an unusual sound ; 
and soon there passed by me, on a well-fed bay 
mare, a man of about thirty-two years of age, of 
staid and intelligent features, rather good-looking, 
dressed in a good coat and waistcoat of dark -grey 

jane, with drab 
saluted me and 

pantaloons, clean and tidy. He 4 
rode on. This was the preacher. 



At nine o'clock the next morning I was at 
Widow Little's. She was a respectable cottager, 
and, besides the willing heart, she had a room 
rather larger than her neighbours. 

I found the place full of people, in their Sun- 
day-clothes, sitting on a few high-backed chairs, 
and upon very low forms only intended for 

All was earnest and solemn : every face showed 
a wish to learn. The missionary stood with his 
back close to- the fire-place, and clearly and un- 
affectedly he read out entirely the beautiful 
hymn, which begins 

" Yes, we trust the day is breaking ! 
Joyful times are near at hand ! 
God, the mighty God, is speaking. 
By his word, in every land !" 

And then, clasping with both hands the back of 
a chair, he led the spirited psalmody, in which 
the little company of about thirty, chiefly women 
and children, joined loudly and well. 

A prayer followed, which I thought too long, 
but otherwise good ; then another hymn, and 
after that a sermon from the text, " Arise, shine, 
for thy light is come," (Isa. Ix. 1) ; on the neces- 
sity of salvation to all ; that it is our first concern 

VOL. I. z 




to seek for it ourselves, and then to endeavour 
to communicate it to others * 

The sermon was very striking, hut not violent : 
indeed, except now and then, his tones were low 
and his manner unusually subdued. 

He made many good remarks, and one or two 
^hich were called for hy the occurrences of the 

'^*" I was sad aid sorry," be said, " to find bro- 
« ther Simmons lying on a bed of sickness, and 
" some of his children were weakly. 

« John has a heart for the work. When well 
" blessed be G^i, he could and did work both 
" for his Redeemer and his neighbour. 

" I pray that he may be soon restored to us ; 
" but now he can do nothing for anybody. He 
« has lost that strength and harmony of feelmgs 
" which we cal^ health, and which is absolutely 
« necessary either for thinking or doing. 

* Although camp^n^eetings occasionaUy take place in Canada 
West, yet for six y«ars I never was within reach of one. They 

•^^^r'^a'^ewT^s saia to occur at the. I take to he 

ex^ti:ror exaggerated; though, «^-'. ^^^^ ^^ he 
gooddeal of religious extravagance and absurdity Tlu« u to be 
bunted for by the seduded "'Jj^ ^^^^^^^^l '^ 
„«ness to them of religious addrewes, and the "ff^^ "'^ 
^Ton the imagination. Simply being m a crowd . sufficient 
to intoxicate the inhabitant of a back-settlement. 



" His fellow-creatures, nay, his dearest friends, 
may be on the brink of destruction, but they 
can have no help from John Simmons. 
" For the present, disease has made him utterly 
powerless. He is not to be reckoned upon — 
scarcely for a prayer. | 

" This is very bad, if properly considered; but 
let me tell you that there is a far deeper and 
blacker pit than this. I mean where a man's 
soul is diseased. A man with a diseased soul — 
an unconverted man, if I am to speak out — 
seeks the chief good, the spiritual good of 
none. It is possible that he n)ay desire the 
carnal benefit of a few in the things which 
perish in the using. Such a soul is dead and 
insensible to the mercies of God in heaven and 
earth. He is so blinded and infatuated as not 
to feel his own misery by nature, and there- 
fore seeks for no deliverance. How can such 
a man deliver others? He has neither the 
wish nor the power. He is the slave of Satan, 
and Satan is as strong and cruel as ever ; none of 
his weapons of war have perished If there be 
any answering this description before me now, let 
us pray for him or her, until he become one of 
the saved ; until he call out in triumph, ' I was 
' dead, and now am alive.' 



*' And it rejoices me to tell you that the sol- 
" diers of the cross are every day becoming 
" bolder and more numerous. The baptism of 
" love is spreading, the kingdom of Christ is fast 
" enlarging, while that of the devil is dimi- 
" nishing. Yes, my friends ! the kingdom of 
" Satan is already rim-cracked and centre- 
" shaken" (in allusion to their household vessels 
of wood), " and Shall be swept away as an un- 
" clean thing." After a pause he added, " If I 
" had as many lives as there are stars in the 
" heavens, I would spend them in the service of 
" my gracious Redeemer." 

After the service I thanked the preacher for 
his excellent discourse. 

We spoke of the state of religion in the parts 
of Canada West, with which he was ac- 

He said he was a travelling missionary preacher 
of the Canadian Wesleyans, and was constantly- 
perambulating a Ihrge cirpuit, embracing a num- 
ber of half-peopled localities, destitute of religious 
instruction. A ijorse was found him, and he 
received an annual money-payment of 21Z. He 
always found a welcome at the various'stations in 
the houses of friends. The number of this class of 
ministers varies; in 1847 it was seventeen. The 



Church of England has (1847) six itinerating 
missionaries in Canada West.* 

He said, that the number of ministers and 
places of worship was very insufficient ; but at 
the present day (1847) it is ten times greater 
than in London. He found that while many were 
indifferent, the bulk of the people heard him 
gladly, and came from great distances. The 
new neighbourhoods soon felt the want of a 
place of worship, and sooner than might have 
been expected supplied that want. Of whatever 
denomination the majority happened to be, the 
minority worshipped with them until they could 
provide a minister of their own, when all used 
the same edifice, until each could afford to have 
its own, which was felt to be a great advan- 
tage, j 

The following is the number of the churches 
and chapels in Canada West in the year 1847, as 
far as can be compiM from Smith's " Gazetteer," 

* The Rev. Thomas Green, Episcopal travelling missionary in 
Canada West, in a letter to the present excellent Bishop of Mont- 
real, describes his duties as very severe. He writes, that since his 
arrival in his district he has preached nearly a sermon a-day, and 
has ridden fifteen miles a-day, nearly equal to thirty in England , 
in every variety of temperature, undergoing constant privations, 
and frequently resting at night in log-houses, whose unstopped 
chinks admit the cold air and damps of midnight. 


but some, planted 
hoods, must have 


in obscure and thin neighbour 
omitted : — 


107 22 114 90 5 48 


1 1 421 

The exact amounit of the population of Canada 
West is not knowjn, although a near estimate 
may be made. It {s supposed to be 650,000. In 
this total is includea an undoubted increase since 
the very imperfect census was taken in 1842. 
The officers superintending the operation so 
frightened and confused the enumerators by 
dividing the informiation required into 120 heads, 
that from many of the districts no returns what- 
ever were nmde. | 

If, in like^ manner, we add one-fifth to the 
number of churche^, we shall have one for every 
1287 of the population ; a result which would be 
very favourable if ihe churches were always ac- 
cessible, which they are not. 

No account is taken of the Mennonites, bat 
they are a considerable body. 

* Names giveni to themselves by separatists. 



The number of ministers serving these churches 
is shown in the subjoined table, also compiled 
from Smith's " Gazetteer" for 1847. The Roman 
Catholic clergy being omitted, the proportion of 
ministers to population cannot be given : — 


•a • 





















The number of the inhabitants of Canada West 
who are totally or nearly destitute of public wor- 
ship is not so great as is supposed ; but there are, 
unhappily, too many so situated. 

Poverty has driven them into distant wilder- 
nesses, where land can be had for little or no- 
thing. They are to be pitied and relieved. Is 
their conduct to be compared with that of the 
80,000 miserable persons in Glasgow who daily 
hear the church-bell, but systematically for years 
never obey its holy call ? Besides, these lonely 
settlers know that a few months or years will 
bring a church or chapel to them. 

It seems to me that the Episcopal clergy are 
taken from too high a class for colonial service. 
They are usually so dissimilar from their flocks 
in tastes, habits, and prejudices, that they might 



almost come from another planet. Their early 
nurture has been too nice, and their education 
too academic, to admit of that familiarity, com- 
/bined with true respect on the part of their 
people, which gives such well-earned influence to 
the Roman Catholic clergy in certain parts of 
Europe, and to the Wesleyan in Great Britain, — 
an influence which pervades both civil and spi- 
ritual life. 

English bishops (l speak deferentially) are too 
well paid, are set uh too high above their fellow- 
clergy, have too mUch direct patronage, and are 
placed apart in somQ distant park or castle, so that 
they are apt to see only with the eyes of a busy, 
expectant chaplain or two, and therefore but 
indifferently. | 

These and man)} other crying evils in the 
Church of England, brought on by the lapse of 
time and the cupidiljy of men, are in the course of 
extinction. The very next generation, it is con- 
fidently hoped, will only wonder that such things 
could have ever been. A thousand influences, 
open and secret, ate at the sure work of their 
early suppression. As a conscientiously-attached 
member of the Chlirch of England, I see the 
necessity for " nova post lucent lux." 

The colonial bishops are more active. Many 
of them are laborious and useful men, but others 



again are deeply tainted with Puseyism (so wor- 
shipful of bishops), and are doing no little harm 
by frowning down evangelical religion — oppress-] 
ing it, I ought to say — and encouraging formalism, 
which is sure to end in Popery. 

Greatly as I prefer the constitution and for- 
mularies of the Church of England, I am not 
sorry to see a considerable share of evangelical 
dissent in Canada West. It shows, that thought 
is active in the woods upon subjects of extreme 
importance, and also that many of the settlers are 
from the independent and meditative classes. 

Some say, " Oh, that dissent were altogether 
swept away from England and her colonies, and 
that the Established Church held universal and 
undisputed sway ! " But, no ; a greater calamity 
could not befall English Christianity. Despot- 
ism in its direst form, the despotism of eccle- 
siastics, would follow. Freedom of opinion and 
individual responsibility would be gone. There 
would soon grow up a small dissentient mi- 
nority, which would be called heretical, malig- 
nant, and then be hunted to the death by an 
inexorable and all-powerful confederacy. Able 
and ready instruments for any form of tyranny 
or cruelty in so sacred and profitable a cause are 
easily found. I could name them while I write, 
prompt either to direct or execute. 








DiflFerences of (tpinion among the real children 
of God on miner 2)oints will always prevail. 
They seem to be part of our intellectual consti- 
tution, and are beautifully adapted to our welfare. 
Among other advantages, they afford a field for 
the exercise of hujmility, mutual forbearance, and 
patient love. | 

It is delightful! to think, that in Canada the 
State supports equally all the denominations into 
which true Christians have classed themselves. 
It has been there conceded that kings and queens 
are not to be nursing fathers and mothers to a 
part of the Chuijch of Christ only, but to the 

It is well to recnember, that " the strength and 
" glory of a Church consists, not so much in its 
" temporalities, a$ in the presence of the Saviour, 
" the power of the Holy Ghost, the vital godliness 
" of her ministers and members, and the faith- 
" fulness, boldness, and evangelical tone of her 
" ministrations." 

All this is undeniably true; but truth, like 
light, offends the feeble eye, and at first repels : 
but although, for a time, it may be hid, and hin- 
dered in its solemn manifestation, nothing can 
extinguish its brightness, nor prevent its final 
triumph upon earth. 

There is an elaborate system of schools in 



Canada West. I do not undertake to explain it. 
A book which treats upon all subjects becomes 

I have reason to think that it works well. The 
returns, however, are as yet very imperfect ; but it 
can be gathered from Smith's "Gazetteer, "that, in 
Canada West, 353,317 of the population have 1508 
schools, called common schools ; which is in the 
proportion of 234 persons to one school. This is 
independent of many private boarding and day- 
schools for both sexes. In the thinly peopled 
districts, 20,000/. per annum is paid to the public 
schools, in addition to small local rates and the 
weekly payments of the children themselves. 
The school-houses are built by the districts. 

A good system of superiutendence has been 
devised, and tolerably well carried out. Of the 
details I know nothing. | 

Besides these means of education, it is the 
practice of the settlers to form circles of a dozen 
families each, and engage a young man to teach 
their children in some centrical situation. He 
is usually from New England, hired by the 
year at a moderate salary, and boarding with the 
parents in turn, for a month at a time. There 
are serious evils attached to this system. I shall 
only mention one — the republican principles un- 


! , 



consciously tauglit and recommended in school 
histories, &c. &c. 

I had personal intercourse with only one of 
these young schoolmasters, a very interesting 
person, with whrtm I resided for three weeks in 
the same house, on the River Detroit. He was 
an able and paiiistaking man, of sound religious 
principles. He ^old me a good deal about the 
plans for self-advftnceraent of young people in the 
rural parts of Ndw England. 

It was the universal custom of the poorer of 
these to act as schoolmasters in the western set- 
tlements of their <)wn country, and of Canada, for 
a time, in the h(i)pe of collecting a little capital 
for ulterior purposes. 

My friend was one of these, a gentle, slight- 
made, fair-haired young man. He had been four 
or five years among us, and was on the eve of 
marriage, and of being settled on a farm in the 
state of Ohio. 

Much might be said on the religious and secu- 
lar colleges of Kingston, Toronto, and Coburgh— 
much in commendation, something in reproba- 
tion ; but, as the passing glance which I can 
bestow would carry no weight, I prefer being 
altogether silent. 



Our surveyors having only had to complete 
some triangulations, which sickness had before 
compelled them to leave unfinished, after a week's 
stay we left our lofty encampment on the cliffs 
of Lake Erie, where, by the bye, we had the plea- 
surable exercise of carrying every drop of the 
water* we required 150 feet up the steep. 

A few hours took us back to Amherstburgh. 
There we found the Confiance ready to convey us 
down Lake Erie to the mouth of the River 

Lieutenant Grant and myself, wliile walking 
along the river side the same evening, met a 
couple of Indians trotting to Amherstburgh, in 
their usual way when loaded. One had a fine 
deer across his shoulders, and the other carried 
four wild turkeys. The latter we bought for a 
shilling a-piece, and half the deer for four shil- 
lings, to be paid for on board our good schooner, 
where soon afterwards our messmates gave the 
game a cordial welcome. 

The next morning (Attgr+), we sailed cheerily ^^ . 
down the Detroit, and with a favourable but lio-ht ^ ' ^ ^ 
breeze. So we proceeded at an easy rate, all in 
high spirits at returning home, down the lake, 
passing the Sisters, the St. Georges, the three ' 

* One evening the water was at 92° Fahren. in the open lake 
near the shore. It boiled for our tea all the sooner. 



Bass Islands, an(: lastly, the Island of Pele, — all 
looking lovely. 

Towards dusk, however, when these isles were 
dimly seen behind us, the sky became overcast, 
the wind arose, and by two o'clock a.m. the next 
morning had beQome a raging hurricane. 

Just before da][light we came far too near the 
perpendicular rocks of Cleaveland, on the Ame- 
rican shore, looming lofty and black in the dark- 
ness. These, aftQr great anxiety, we succeeded in 
avoiding; but I tnust refrain from a lengthened 
description of thjs, the most violent storm on 
Lake Erie for many years ; and \t is infamous for 

We were three nights and two days exposed to 
its fury, driving from side to side of this naiTow 
lake, but with a general easterly course. 

We should have perished, I verily believe, but 
with God's help for our stout commander and 
his brave crew. The waves swept away boats, 
binnacle, deer, turkeys, &c. &c., and strewed the 
sand of the lake bottom in great quantities upon 
the deck, and the table-cloth of a sail which we 
ventured to hoist, 

Nobody thought of cooking, and few of eating. 
I confess to a couple of biscuits. I remained 
much in my berth, ou account of the violent 
motion of the vessel, with simply a shirt on, 



. white jane trowsers, and light shoes, ready for 
a jump and a swim. I certainly thought (with 
the others) that our safety was very problem- 
atical. Of course, I felt for myself; but I also 
regretted the loss of all our surveys, and of our 
very valuable instruments. The shipwreck would 
have cost the public very many thousand pounds. 
Once only was I nearly on deck to survey the 
scene; but I had hardly got high enough to see 
— standing on the companion-ladder— when a 
large wave, opaque with mud, soused me on the 
face, and drove me down again, accompanied by 
not a little water. 

Our Canadian voyageurs were vastly disturbed. 
One old fellow with a sharp vinegar face jammed 
himself into a corner of the hold, and broke his 
usual silence by giving public notice that, if 
permitted to land alive, he would burn a candle 
one pound in weight in the nearest church, in 
honour of the Virgin— "the mild Mother"- the 
" Star of the sea." 

He had scarcely uttered the vow, when the 
vessel quivered under a tremendous blow, and 
was buried for a moment beneath a great wave. 
Grenier shouted out, that he would pay for six 
masses. Another shock. The poor man, in an 
agony, doubled the weight of the candle, set his 
teeth spasmodically, and never spake more, until 




Bass Islands, and lastly, the Island of Pele, — all 
looking lovely. 

Towards dusk, however, when these isles were 
dimly seen behind ug, the sky became overcast, 
the wind arose, and by two o'clock a.m. the next 
morning had become a raging hurricane. 

Just before daylight we came far too near the 
perpendicular rocks of Cleaveland, on the Ame- 
/rican shore, looming Ibfty and black in the dark- 
ness. These, after great anxiety, we succeeded in 
avoiding; but I must refrain from a lengthened 
description of this, the most violent storm on 
Lake Erie for many yftars ; and it is infamous for 

We were three nights and two days exposed to 
its fury, driving from side to side of this narrow 
lake, but with a general easterly course. 

We should have perished, I verily believe, but 
with God's help for our stout commander and 
his brave crew. The waves swept away boats, 
binnacle, deer, turkeys, &c. &c., and strewed the 
sand of the lake bottom in great quantities upon 
the deck, and the table-cloth of a sail which we 
ventured to hoist. 

Nobody thought of cooking, and few of eating. 
I confess to a couple of biscuits. I remained 
much in my berth, ou account of the violent 
motion of the vessel, with simply a shirt on, 

' 5 



white jane trowsers, and light shoes, ready for 
a jump and a swim. I certainly thought (with 
the others) that our safety was very problem- 
atical. Of course, I felt for myself; but I also 
regretted the loss of all our surveys, and of our 
very valuable instruments. The shipwreck would 
have cost the public very many thousand pounds. 

Once only was I nearly on deck to survey the 
scene ; but I had hardly got high enough to see 
— standing on the companion-ladder — when a 
large wave, opaque with mud, soused me on the 
face, and drove me down again, accompanied by 
not a little water. i 

Our Canadian voyageurs were vastly disturbed. 
One old fellow with a sharp vinegar face jammed 
himself into a corner of the hold, and broke his 
usual silence by giving public notice that, if 
permitted to land alive, he would burn a candle 
one pound in weight in the nearest church, in 
honour of the Virgin — "the mild Mother" — the 
" Star of the sea." 

He had scarcely uttered the vow, when the 
vessel quivered under a tremendous blow, and 
was buried for a moment beneath a great wave. 
Grenier shouted out, that he would pay for six 
masses. Another shock. The poor man, in an 
agony, doubled the weight of the candle, set his 
teeth spasmodically, and never spake more, until 



the storm had ceased ; 

for he saw all his summer 

i J. -^*- ■ ' 

Avages a-melting. I Ijiave no right to found an 
argument upon this i)oor man's ignorance and 
fright. I 

Early on the third knorning we saw the North 
Foreland (Long Point) on our north-west. The 
scud moved quick, and the wave§ were still high 
and full of sand, hut the force of the storm was 

The land on either shore looked most charminz. 
I envied the very cattle which were browsing in 
the pastures, in gentle contention with the mos- 
quitoes. In due seaso|n, to my undisguisable joy, 
we anchored inside a reef near the Village of 
Waterloo, our destinttd haven ; and we landed, 
thankful to our divine Preserver for a new and 
signal mercy. 

One sloop foundered ; its crew and passengers 
all lost. There happened to be but few vessels 
on the lake. These were much damaged. 

We are within about twenty miles of the Falls 
of Niagara : thither w]e shall next repair. 





FrinUd b; G. BascLat, Cartla St. LeicwUr Sq. 

A yC-v-i,Vv 

/ i 

' " '■> 

\ <f 
t / / 

-J • /■ 

' , ', -/ •"/ , ■ '^/,/ 










SO(tl) 'Xumcrons plates anU i¥lap5. 

■ ! 



Vol. II. 






"There He setteth the poor on high from affliction; and 
maketh him families like a flock. The righteous shall see it 
and rejoice." — Ps. cvii. 

" Make my grave on the banks of the St. Lawrence." — 
Lord Sydenham, late Governor-Gen. of British Xorth America. 



The River-My Friends-The Vicinity of the Falls, now and for- 
merly- Forsyth's Inn -The Indian Woman earned over the 

• Falls-The Stolen Drawings-The Falls-Stories royal and true 
-Mr. Vaughan and his ways-Dr. Frank]in-The Chasm and 
Curtain-Goat Island- Stamford Park-Queenston He.ghts- 
Rhoda's Procession— The Deserter . • Page 1 

Part I. 


Winter Journey from Quebec to Montreal-Anecdote-To King- 
ston on the melting ice-Kingston-To Toronto m open boat 
along North Shore of Lake Ontario-Yonge Street-Lake Sim- 
coe-NoUwasaga PorUge, Swamp, and River-The Johnson 
Family . ; 

f <f-' 




" There He getteth the poor on hig^ from affliction j and 
maketh him fomiliei like a flock. The righteoos shaU aee it 
and rqoice."— P#. cvii. 

" Make my grare on the banks of the St. Lawrence."— 
LoRB Stdknham, lot* Govemor-Gtn. qf BrWth North America. 



The Rirer-My Frienda-The Vicinity of the Falb, now and for- 
merly- Forsyth's Inn-TTie Indian Woman carried over the 
Fall^The Stolen Drawings-The Falla-Storiea royal and true 
_Mr Vaughan and hi. waya-Dr. Frank)in-The Chasm and 
Curtain-Goat Island- Stamford Park-Queenrton H«ghto- 
Biioda's Pioceasiott-The Deserter . "«« ^ 

Part I. 


Winter Journey from Quebec to Montreal-Anecdoto-To King- 
rton on the melting ice-Kingston-To Toronto m open boat 
along North Shore of Lake Ontario-Yonge Street-Lake Sim- 
coe-NoUwasag. Port^je, Swamp, and Riyer-The Johnaon 
Family ..••*"* 



Part II. Sbct. I. 


^ -.'General Sketch^-Canoe-voyage along North Shore-Ciant's Tomb 
^T» -Indian FUhermen- Crowds of Idea- Stormbound- Indian 
Grandmother and her Coracle-Indian Home -Parry'. Sound 
- Labrador Peldspar - French River - La Cloche - BeaubW 
Scenery-French Roin-Sagamuc Rivers-Ojibbeway Indians- 
Rivers Missassaga and Theasalon- Copper Mines-Indian SporU 
—North-west arm of Huron-Lake George-Straits and VU- 
Uges of St. Mary-Society at St. Mary's-Embark for Drum- 
iW" Znd Island Page 82 . 

Part II. Sect. II. 


Canoe-voyage to Dnimmond Island -Mosquitoes -Muddy Lake 
-St. Joseph's Isle -The Indian Widow full of trust - N^fht- 
rtonn on an Isle of Shingle- Arrival -Port Collier- Garruon 
Lilfe-De«*ters' Heads in a Sack-Indian War Party-Mictah- 
mackinac Town and Ishmd- Mr. Mid Mrs. M«Jvicar - Indian 
Chiefs-Lady and Ring -Voyage with Indian, to Drummond 
Island - Tlieir kindness - American Officer killed - Amval in 
rtate-Bonndary Commission- H. M. Schooner Conflance- 

. Entomology-Little and Grand Manitoulines-Thunder-stom 
—Voyage (fown Southern Huron to River St. Clair • 132 

Part III. 

^ Brief De«Tiption - Boat-voyage from St. Mary to Grand Portage 

» V ^^ by the North Shore - River St. Mary - Gro. Cap - Mapte 

Islea-Di»«ter recorded -Marmoaze DUtrict-River Mont- 

real- Copper Mine.- Huggawong Bay-Gargantua- Michi- 



picoton Bay/River, and Fort - The Goat -Fine Scenery - 
Gloomy River -Indian.- Otter'. Head-Indian Road-mark. 
— A Run a-shore — The Ravine — Curious Aquatic InMcte — 
Ba«dt Dyke. — Peek River and Idea - Mist - Prairie Plea- 
se, -The Black River -Written Rocks -Snow again - 
Nipigon Bay and Idands - Mammelle Hills -Black Bay- 
Thunder Mountain -Fortwilliam- To Grand Portage, very 

P«ge 178 
picturesque • . • • ^ 

Part IV. Sbct. I. 


The Fur-traders-Grand Portage -Pigeoti River -Mo^juitoe*- 
Outard Lake -Migration of Dragon - flie. - Ldce. Moo«, 
Mountain. &c. - Singular Suppoation - WUd Rice Haryeat- 
East and We.t Lake, of the Height of Land- Hudwn. Bay 
Country entered-Gunflint.and Ke«g«aaga Lak^-S^^ Voy- 
«eur-Indian FamUy-Bears-CypreM. Knife, and Bo-blanc 

Sce.-Indian.-Watch-po.t-Crooked Lake-Sioux Arrow. 

-Lake and River LacroU-VermiUon and Namaycan L«ke»-- 
Rainy Lake circumnavigated— Scenery— Native. • Z3» 

Part IV. Sbct. II. , 


Port «id River Lapluie-Hudwn'. Bay Company- I»di«i 
««:re-Lake of the Wood.-Murder Rock-War.««d 

, -Driftwood Point-Monument Ba,-North-we.t comer 
Uk^The Rat Portag^The Nect«n-Kiver Winnepeg- 
Cliff Bay-White-firfi Lake-We of the YeUow G^l- 
age desBoi.- Turtle Portage-The Thunder Bird- 
Lapluie . . • • 


of the 
:— Red 




(A). A. Canadian Boat-Song, with free translation . 
(B). Topogn^hy of the River Niagara 
(C). list of Canadian Insects ; mostly of new species 
(D). Tabular Views of Thonderstorms, and of Annual Tem- 
I perature at Toronto . . . . 

Note on Lake Superior . • . • . 






Map of the Lake of the Woods 
, Falls of Niagara 

n/aeep. 294 
. 325 


The Black Falls on Lake Superior . . . Fnmtiipieet 

Andrews' Inn and Vicinity, above Brockville . . 50 

The St Lawrence, from Yeo's Island, near Andrews' Inn . 52 

Indian Rendezvous, Dnunmond Island . . .162 

Confiance Harbour, with Isle St. Joseph . . . 165 

Encampment Donee, East Nibish Rapid . . . 167 

Portlock Harbour, Pelletau's Channel . . .169 

Fluor Island, &c., Nipigon Bay .... 224 

Thunder Mountain, firom Point Porphyry . . . 228 

Lake Bntredenz, Old Route to the Lake of the Woods . 246 

Outlet of Boisblanc Lake, ditto . 253 

Lake Lacroix, fiom Pewarbic Portage . . . 256 

The Rat Portage, Lake of the Wood^ . . .303 



The River-My Friends-The Vicinity of the F.ll»-Forsyth's Inn 
-The Indian carried over the Falls-The Stolen Drawmg*- 
The Fril»-Anecdotes royal and tru^Mr. John Vanghan and 
bis Way»-Dr. FrankUn-The Chasm and Curtain-Goat Island 
-Stamford Park-aueenston Heights^Rhoda's Procesaon- 
The Deserter. 

In this excursion I concern myself with the 
general features only of the Falls of Niagara, and 
more particularly with the sayings and doings of 
the pleasant party with whom I visited them. 

I have thought well to separate this light read- 
ing from the topographical details and accurate 
admeasurements which I obtained from the 
Boundary Surveyors, as being more easily con- 
suited than read. They wiU be found in the 
Appendix, together with a small map of this 

VOL. n. 



locality, irhich I hope the reader will glance at 
before peifusing this Excursion. 

The Riter Niagara faUy merits its fame. It is 
magnificent in dimension, beautiful in form, en- 
riched with various and exuberant foliage, and 
cheered with bright skies. 

In 1822 its east bank, a part of the north fron- 
tier of the United States, was (and probably is) a 
scarcely touched forest, while the Canadian shore 
tlooms frojm end to end with orchards and farms, 
hamlets and ornamental readences. 

The Cataract of Niagara is unriralled in the 
impression it makes upon erery cultivated mind. 
Its superiority does not, however, depend so much 
on its beigfit, or on the accompanying scenery, as 
on its nakc)d vastness, and its extraordinary beauty 
of outline and colour. 

A cataract as large as that of the Rhine at 
Sehaffhansen might be cut ont (so to speak) of 
that of Niagara, without its being perceived. 

In a picture this Fall is tame, formal, and dis- 
appointing ; but in the liying landscape no such 
effect is produced, and the mind becomes wmpt 
in solemnised and pleased wonder. 

The rapid transition firom the placid, lakelike 
character of the river above to the vehemence 
and tumult of the Falls, is very striking to the 
spectator who approaches from Lake Erie, as I 


did on my first visit, riding jauntily in the spring- 
waggon of a Seneka Indian well to do, who was 
dressed, as might be expected in a white man a 
little eccentric. 

Near the village of Chippewa the broad, hurry- 
ing stream is seen a couple of miles off to leap 
into a dark and deep gulf. All between the spec- 
tator and the plunge is bright, clear, and verdur- 
ous, all beyond is gloomy and grey in the wreath- 
ing mists sent up by the shock of waters. 

The great chasm which I thus incidentally 
notice, and its picturesque outlet or gorge at 
Queenston, are additionid features of great 

Although it will be described in the Appendix, 
I may here advert to the singular &ct that all the 
superfluous waters of the great upper lakes pass 
through it, while in one place it is only 1 15 yards 

I had the good fortune to visit this cataract in 
very agreeable company. Our travelling party 
of six represented Philadelphia, Quebec, New 
York, Paris, and London, very entertainingly. 
As for me, my youth junned me down as a listener 
only. We consisted of an old merchant (or rather 
philosopher) of Philadelphia, a British colonel 
on half-pay, a major in the American service, 
an English barrister. Count Montalembert, an 


attache to the French Emhassy in the Brazils, now 
a grey-haired Legitimist * and a young medical 


Speculators had not then effected the hase 
transmutations of the present day. There were 
no large clumsy caravansaries, no lines of white- 
washed lodging-houses, and no vulgar, intrusive 
bridges to mar the graceful outlines and harmo- 
nious colpurings of waters, rocks, and sloping 


At that time (1822) a visit to Niagara was a 
great undisturbed sensation. The great Falls 
were almost in their primeval forests. We came 
upon the giant river in all its solitariness, rolling 
its immense wave over jutting rocks, and se- 
pulchred in woods vocal with its roar. 

Nothing incongruous met the eye or ear ; the 
picture was perfect and the effect most profound. 

In those days there was a small hamlet on the 
American side of the river, with Judge Porter's 
handsome house at one end of it ; but both hamlet 
and hall were out of sight. 

On the British side there was only one house 
near it, an inn, kept time out of mind by a family 
of the name of Forsyth. They were very primi- 

" * Then iu strength, vpinli, and gentleness— a hUmd, of rather 
large and fnU contours, so rare in Frenchmen, and a most agree- 
able and highly-educated person. 





a.e folk,, tat being «.r.M .nd sWd, the, 

""o'-- "^ ttt^ trnl old f.™.te.d 
Their place might have Men » 

i„ Worltershi^. The "«"«"-'»-• "'^''^'^ 

J ^r,A therefore shewed a aeai ui w 
increased, and tnereiore 

Cowhouses, stables, and p.ptyes. hung 

'Tet it stood, with an orchard of moss, frm. 
J'Tn one side, and large forest tree, on the 

Tp^ferred to Niag.™ new "^ diseneh>;:^teen 

For .11 this old-fashioned st.ll '* *»';;» 

cubbed op ; and in its place we have a tall square 

f^^Jr^led with two or and 

^fni Aanks, nevertheless, to the 
shrine of unhappy gemus. 



watching the Falls from a hundred windows. 
On the pillars of these galleries we take a cer- 
tain kind of lazy interest in scanning quaint de- 
vices in pencil, original thoughts and itnpressions 
in rhyme and prose, with many newly-married 
names coupled in love-knots, names of lofty sound 
sweet to the western ear, such as Adrian and For- 
mosa, Herman and Mariana, &c. &c. Higgs, or 
Snell, or Smith, usually follows. Other such 
house-monsters there are hereabouts, and more 
on the American side. 

Instead of the ferry that was wont to cross the 
billowy current below the cataract with a freight 
of ladies in a state of safe consternation, we have 
now two shaky bridges, one above, and the other 
below the Fall ; — the impudence of the mecha- 
nician robbing us of the august and natural. It 
is to be hoped that some April avalanche of ice 
and trees, rushing at midnight down the rapids, 
will sweep the upper abomination into the abyss.* 

Instead of the seed-royal of prepared worshippers 

* Occasionally, from the ii&mense quantity of ice carried over 
the Falls, the channel becomes choked and blocked up a short dis- 
tance below the Falls, so as to be passable on foot. This was the 
case during the winter of 1845-6, when a path was marked out 
across the ice opposite Clifton House. The Falls are very grand in 
winter ; the rocks at the sides being incnisted with icicles, some of 
them measuring perhaps fifty or sixty feet in length. — Smith's 



(with a few stragglers perhaps), the pilgrimage to 
the Falls is now performed by swarming crowds 
of all conditions and ages— Canadians— the sal- 
low Carolinian and his fullblown lady— rich 
people from Tennessee, Georgia, and Ohio— the 
Spaniard from hot and hateful Cuba, a spectacled 
German or two, and occasionally some British 
officials, in costume without an erring fold, and as 
impassible to human intercourse as ice to light- 
ning, until warmed up by their favourite Oporto. 
The great majority of the visitors only stay a 
couple of hours, and order their horses for the 
next stage before they see the show. Those who 
do stay a little longer treat the patient cataract 
with the same vulgar, prying contumelies that the 
public of bygone days did the dragon when the 
Cappadocian saint had slain him. The Ariel, a 
little steamer, plying in the chasm for hire, may 
be almost said to walk into its mouth. 

Seclusion, that pleasant nymph, has ran away 
outright. You are guided to death. No sooner 
has the mind acquired the tension so indispensable 
to the enjoyment of the wonderful scene, than a 
man with a bit of spar for sale breaks up the 
vision ; or the angry cries of a sulky child are 
heard ; or a bundle of affectations from one of the 
interminable streets of New York comes rushing 
and buzzing up the steep, and effectually cuts 




short your ecstatics. "Oh, mamma!" I heard 
a pretty little miss call out, " it is not at all as 
it's put in my geography-book. Where is the 
promenade between the curtain and the rock ? 
Where are the bears ajnd the moose struggling in 
the rapids, and then sjwept into the abyss? and 
where are the hundred Iroquois waiting below 
to receive the wild beasts on their spear-points ? 
lam quite disappointed!" — and so on. If this 
little lady had been present when the Indian female 
went over the Falls in 1820, it is hoped that she 
would have been more than satisfied. It happened 
thus: — 

The poor creature, of middle age, fell asleep in 
a canoe fastened to a stake in the river-bank, 
about three miles above the Falls. 

During her sleep the cord broke, and the canoe 
floated gently but swiftly down towards the 

She awoke when within 500 yards of the brink, 
already amid foaming rapids, and beyond rescue. 

Having slowly turr^ed round twice to see if 
there were any possible escape, she stooped for 
a large red blanket she had, folded it over her 
face, and quietly sat down. The woman and the 
canoe in a few instants were carried over the pre- 
cipice, and never seen more. 

I fear some of the visitors are not honest. My 




companion on one of my many visits to the Falls, 
Captain Vivian, made eight beautiful sketches of 
them. He had just finished them carefully and 
left the room for a mere moment— and they were 
gone. All inquiries were in vain. They were 
lost, and for ever. j 

We suspected a very pleasing and talkative 
young lady in a most becoming green satin dress, 
who sat next to my friend, a handsome young 
oflicer, at dinner that day. She was all " entusy- 
musy" about cataracts and wildernesses, and 
~aliove all things wished to take away with her 
some drawings of Niagara. Is it possible that, 
with such a happy, open face, she could steal a 
sketch-book? We never saw her more, and the 
loss occurred soon after dinner. 

Soon after our arrival our whole party walked 
down the sloping meadow between Forsyth's and 
the Falls, dipped by a steep bank (adorned with 
fine tulip-trees of nature's planting) into a narrow 
slip of wet coppice, and stood on Table Rock, a 
platform, which, almost yearly diminishing, sup- 
ports the northern end of the British or Horse- 
shoe Fall. We could put our feet into the shal- 
low water as it was hurrying to the brink. 

The whole scene lay before us. We saw the 

^overwhelming flood, springing in a dense sheet of 

the tenderest emerald, and of white and grey, into 



the dark chasm — not in a line uniform and straight, 
but in a varying and most graceful curve. | 

We looked around upon the woods, upon Goat, 
or Iris Island, midway between the Horse-shoe 
and American Falls,— upwards to the rapids pent 
in for a couple of miles by high banks, — and then 
the eye dropped into the grey abyss itself, its dark 
mossy walls, its masses of displaced rocks, half- 
buried in the river, and the churning, foamy 
waters sending a white vapour so high as some- 
times to be visible at the distance of twenty 

We remained half-an-hour on this spot, and 
returned to the inn by a little detour, which af- 
forded some new points of view. 

Very few words vsjere exchanged during the 
walk home ; each was left to the enjoyment of 
his own sensations. The scene is so simple, so 
sublime, so full of mingled grace, beauty, and 
terror, that there is no room for talk, and it is 
above human commendation. 

We went to dinner, not with a hundred strangers 
at a table very narrow and long, the hot meats 
cold and the cold warm ; but by ourselves, in a 
snug parlour. 

The weather had become sultry, and a thunder- 
storm was brewing. | 

The good dinner also disinclined us to leave the 



dessert. So we resolved to share a couple of 
bottles of Forsyth's particular port among us. 

There were in our party both good talkers and 
2ood listeners ; most of ns had travelled exten- 
sively and in the best company. 

Of course the conversation was not on politics ; 
but it became anecdotical. A few of the little 
stories I recollect to this distant day. 

"The last time I was here," said the worthy 
Colonel, "it was as private secretary to the 
Duke of Kent. His Royal Highness was greatly 
interested in the spot. The falling river, the 
untrodden woods, the prevailing' solemnity — all 
proclaiming the irresistible grandeur of nature 
and the feebleness of man — went to his heart." 

Again, his Royal Highness was brought into 
the proper frame by a deputation of Delawares 
and Mohawks, who somehow got scent of his 
approach, and waylaid him on the heights of 
Queenston with a soldierlike speech full of wood- 
land tropes. I 

He greatly admired these bfoad-chested Red- 
skins, with their measured tread, swart, serious 
faces, and hooked noses. 

The Duke was much taken with the old crone, 
Forsyth's grandmother— with her simpleness and 
straightforward oddity. Not knowing clearly at 
the time the quality of her guests, she was often 




she, Staring agape at 
"in all my born days 
that ; — no ! nor never 

plainer in her remark? than complimentary. One 
of the suite had a sixtbladed knife, and expected 
to make at least six uses of it in the west. It had 
knives, corkscrew, saw, &c. &c. "Well," said 
tlie Sheffield master-piece, 
I never saw such a knife as 
heard of one. A man with 
such a wonder as that in his coat-pocket, who 
comes 500 miles to see our Falls, must be a very 
uncommon fool ! " I 

As princes sometimes wish to be quiet, especially 
during the fatigues ojf a Canadian journey, the 
Duke of Kent travelled incog., or meant so to do ; 
but the veil was often removed by accident or in- 

" We arrived (the ^olonel speaks) rather late 
" one evening at the little Inn of the Cedars, on 
" the St. Lawrence. 

" The landlord was very attentive, for he saw 
" that he had under hi^ roof no ordinary personage; 
" but who, he could iijot guess for the life of him, 

" He repeatedly enjtered his Royal Highness's 
" sitting-room. The first time he said, ' I think, 
" * Captain, you rang the table-bell. What did 
" 'you please to want?' The second time he 
" brought in a plate of fine raspberries, and said, 
" 'We have found iq the woods. Major, a few 
" ' rasps. Will you j^lease to taste them ?* 



" He invented a third and fourth excuse for 
" entering, and saluted his Highness, first as 
" colonel, and then as general. The last time, 
" just before leaving the room, he returned from 
" near the door, fell upon his knees, and cried 
" out, ' May it please your Majesty to pardon us 
" ' if we don't behave suitable. I know you are 
" • not to be known. I mean no offence in calling 
" ' you captain and colonel. What must I call 
" ' you ? For anything I can tell you may be a 
" ' kind's son.' 

" To this long speech the Duke would have 
" given a kind answer, but for an universal and 
" irrepressible explosion of laughter. If you had 
" seen the scared old innkeeper on his knees, you 
" would have laughed too." 

The Philadelphia merchant-philosopher was in 
high talk that evening. 

All Philadelphia reveres and loves (or rather 
did so) Mr. John Vaughan,* old and young, high 

* He was an Englishman of good family, who had come to Phila- 
delphia in early life as a merchant ; hut his affections were too 
warm, and his anxiety for the advancement of his fellow-creatures 
in happiness and virtue was too great, to allow his whole energies 
to be devoted to a selfish object, so that his time, means, and 
talents, soon became absorbed in schemes of philanthropic, literary, 
or scientific utility. He did not labour in his calling exclusively, 
■WTien trade changed its channels, he did not run after it, so that 
after a time Mr. Vaughan was left nearly high and dry, with but few 
commissions or correspondents. There was never anything like 




and low, for hi3 lon|g life had been a ceaseless 
current of benevolent acts. Even in the city of 
Quakers, this Englishman had been before, and 
beyond all, in good works. I had passed a winter 
in that delightful towji, and was indebted to him for 
a comfortable home, for introductions to desirable 
society, and for access to libraries and lectures. 

his proper part in the con- 

Mr. Vaughan took 

insolvency. Mr. Vaughan Vas a bachelor, and I believe had 
safe little patrimony. But 

fifty years before his death, such was 
his usefulness and special capacity, that he was chosen secretary of 
the important institution, jhe American Philosophical Society of 
Phaadelphia, with salary 4nd handsome apartments attached. 
This mark of the esteem of his feUow-citizens must have been 
very grateful to Mr. Vaughaji. 

In 1822 Mr. Vaughan was a litUe, active, light-hearted old man, 
with a pleasant, confiding fkce, wrinkled by hot summers, sharp 
winters, and a long life in ejjciting tunes. I have often seen his 
open-hearted expression in tfte countenances of philanthropists and 
naturalists, but not often in those of professional men and 

With aU his gentle forg)etfulness of self, Mr. Vaughan was 
ardent and skilful in the pijosecution of an object, and few had 
more irons in the fire than h* had at aU times. Besides an active 
share in the business of charitable institutions, he had a multitude 
of private charges in the shape of widows and orphans. Did a 
father die early, and leave a icantUy-provided family, Mr. Vaughan 
was accustomed to find himself appointed years before their guar- 
dian. He seldom refused th« office, and set at once about soothing 
the bereaved, arguing with or imploring creditors, providing -for 
immediate wants, and so on. 

He was always in the fidjets about some one or other of hia 
wards, seeking berths for the boys in ships and counting-houses, 
and placing out the girls in aBy proper way he could. 



versation, but with the exception of the following 
characteristic anecdote, I entirely forget what he 

Although Mr. Vaughan was much Dr. Frank- 
lin's junior, he was intimate with him, because 
there were points of resemblance in their charac- 
ters, and because public business threw them often 
together. At the time spoken of, now long ago, 
Franklin was the editor of a young newspaper. 

He had been long in the habit of walking in the morning on the 
quays of Philadelphia ; thus to do good, while taking necessary 
exercise. If he saw a loiterer with a homeless look, especially if 
in an English smock-frock, the cheerful little man would enter 
into talk with him, point out some decent lodging-house, direct 
him to the St. George's Society for the relief of foreigners, and to 
other sources of information and help, not omitting to give the 
stranger his own address in case of need. 

The English emigrant has more occasion for this kind of assist- 
ance than the Scotch and Irish. The latter have considerable 
address and readiness, and they meet with more help from their 
countrymen than the English do. 

Mr. Vaughan died at Philadelphia at the age of eighty-six, 
passing from labour to rest, from hope to recompense. He was 
honoured by a public funeral. His portrait had hung for thirty 
years in the City Gallery of Paintings, and now his bust is placed 
in the hall of the American Philosophical Society, which has so 
greatly advanced the cultivation of science in the United States. 

Mr. Vaughan was an original member of the Wistar Society of 
Philadelphia, an association of sixteen of the leading persons of the 
city. Its object was, for each member to hold in his turn a toir4e, 
for the purpose of introducing respectable or distinguished strangers 
to each other, and to the most eminent individuals in the vicinity. 

Although this note be rather long, is it not weU to pay a deserved 
tribute to so good a man ? 




advocating uncompromisingly a certain line of 
American politics. i 

In those days men were very earnest. One of 
Franklin's subscribers disapproved of his proceed- 
ings, but forbore fbr some time, hoping for a 
change ; but time only made matters worse. 

One day the subscriber met Dr. Franklin in the 
street, and freely told him that his politics would 
ruin both him and his country. He finished by 
desiring him to take his name from the list of his 
subscribers. Dr. Franklin told him he was sorry 
to lose him, but that his wishes should be obeyed, 

A Aveek or two afterwards, not a little to the old 
subscriber's surprise, he received from Franklin a 
little note, inviting] him to supper on the coming 
Friday evening. t 

He accepted, and went. He found the perverse 
editor in clean, plain lodgings, at a side-table, 
leaning on some books, in his usual easy humour. 
Supper was being laid on a round oak table, over 
which a neat-handed girl had spread a white cloth. 
She then gradually covered it with a shining, 
firm cucumber, a pat of butter, a large china jug 
of water from the spring, a loaf of good bread, 
three cool lettuces, some leeks, and a piece of ripe 
cheese, with a little jug of foaming beer, more 
brisk than strong. 

Just as the last ^rticle was placed on the table, 



a tap at the door brought in that friendly man 

projects, and primed for discussion. ^ 

To the subscriber's great surprise, after these 
two Washin-^ton bimself stepped in, his square, 


and one more, made up the companj-^ 

They disposed themselves round e tab e an ^ 

together for well-earned relaxation. The hou s. 
w:re only too short for the outpourings of their 
II minds. Twelve o'clock saw them home. 
"^iZ days afterwards the su^ri^r^^^^^ 

T)r Franklin n the street. An • »«* 

, ! 1 fnr that delightful evening. 1 
thousand thanks for that del g ^^^^^^ 

saw the lesson you were reading me 

to shew that a man who can ^-'-''r^'^'J^ ^ 
andbestofour country upon a cucumbei and a 

' c 



fi t 


glass of cold water, can afford to be politically 

honest." , 

"Well, friendj" Franklin smilingly- replied, 

" something of that sort." 

When the thunderstorm had passed over, leavmg 
a delightful freshness behind it, the dinner party 
strayed up a shady lane near Forsyth's, on the 
opposite side of the road-up Lundy's Lane, 
^hich leads to the round eminence whereon, m 
1812, the battle of Lundy's Lane was most severely 

contested. I , , ir • 

I believe we h|id all forgotten the whole affair, 
although many l^rave men fell there in the heroic 
performance of Hhe duty of the moment, for not a 
single observatiqn was made on the subject. We 
simply looked roLnd upon the fertile soil, and upon 
the signs around us of a daily increasing popula- 
tion We saw tlje ready access to markets, and pro- 
nounced the eaiy prophecy that ere long Canada 
West would be filled with a prosperous people. 

The next morning all the party, except Mr. 
Vaughan and the Colonel, descended into the 
chasm. They feared the extreme heat then pre- 
vailing, and remained at home, amusing them- 
selves with the quaint notions of old Mrs. Forsyth, 
and with discussing the merits of General Lee, a 
distinguished revolutionary officer on the American 





As most of us were young, and out for a holiday, 
our spirits were at boiling point; practical jokes, 
frolic, and song, were the order of the day. It 
was then that I learnt my famous ditty about the 
farmer's dog, " Little Bingo." 

In those days there were no means of descent 
into the chasm but by long ladders, old and crazy 
Two of us, therefore, standing on the summit of 
the precipice, imitated Henry Navarre at the 
battle of Ivry, by courageously flinging our hats 
into the gulf to arouse our courage. We regained 
them by the merest accident. There was not a 
wearable hat to be bought within a hundred miles 
The count attache, after we had descended and 
stood upon the colo5sal fragments, which, now 
half buried in the waters, had fallen from above, 
proposed to bathe in a quiet nook he had espied ; 
hut I told him that such trouble was needless as 
before he got home he would enjoy a new kind of 

lavatory. , 

It was not long before the grandeur ol the 
scene had changed our merriment into repose and 
thoughtfulness. We sat down upon the rocky 
slope or talus, nearly on a level with the water. 

The upper world of habitations, woods, and 
broad, shining river, was excluded. Ou each 
side, close to us, were mural precipices 50 teet 
high, crowned with trees. The eye was filled and 


1 1 < 



fascinated by the wide curtain* of falling waters, 
whose fair and delicate colour is rendered more 
marked by the gloom of the surrounding walls 
of dark limestone. 

Colossal fragtnents in magnificent confusion 
mount half-way up the precipice, and even 
obstruct the stream as it rolls impetuously down. 

Over the Hofse-shoe Fall the water leaps en 
masse, and meeti with no obstruction. The same 
is the case at the small cascade, called the Ribbon 
or Montmorenc| Fall {vide map) ; but at the 
American or SJchlosser's Fall, the descending 
sheet of water often dashes upon successive ledo'es 
of rock, and then, arching gracefully, drops in 
broken feathery br arrow-like masses. 

In the mist which overspreads the front of the 
Horse-shoe Fall the rainbows are very large and 
brilliant at times| but they are faint at Schlosser's. 

I think I shall better convey to my readers the 
general impressidm created by the scenery of the 
chasm below the Falls, by the following magni- 
ficent lines, than by any words of my own : 

" The thoughts aBe strange which crowd upon my brain 
When I look upward to thee. It would seem 
As if God pour'd thee from his hollow hand, 
And hung his bow upon thy awful front, 

* Twelve hundred ywds, or two-thirds of a mile broad, including 
Iris Island. — Vide map. 




And spoke in that loud voice, which seem'd to him 

Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake, 

The sound of many waters ; and thy flood 

Had bidden chronicle the ages back. 

And notch his centuries in th* eternal rocks. 

Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we 

Who hear this awful questioning ? Oh ! what 

Are all the stirring notes that ever rang 

From war's vtun trumpet, by thy thundering side ? 

Yea, what is all the riot man can make 

In his short life to thy unceasing roar ?' 

And yet, bold babbler, what art thou to Him 

Who drown'd a world, and heap'd the waters far 

Above its loftiest mountains ? — a light wave 

That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might." 

Anon. U.S. Literary Guzette. 

We scrambled over the fragments lining the 
foot of the precipice to the north end of the Horse- 
shoe Fall. Here we observed more nearly its 
form, colour, and massive thickness. 

There is a considerable interval between the 
descending water and the rock it rushes over. 

Into this dark cavern we ventured without a 
guide, amid a concentrated roar which stunned us, 
while the whirling hurricane of watery vapour, 
which filled the place instead of air, beat violently 
upon our persons, and changed our breathing into 
a laborious struggle of sighing and gasping. 

There we stood, with tottering knees, making 
dumb shows of astonishment and distress. It was 
difficult to keep our footing, or to walk over the 
rough slope of fallen rocks, made slippery by wet 

if I 

h: \ 



mosses, and the slime of the frightened eels we 
saw darting fro|n stone to stone. 

We succeeded in going some ten or twelve feet 
withm the curtain, which was too thick to see 
through, but iis emerald colour was peculiarly 
clear and soft. We then saw at a little distance 
a buttress prev.mting further progress, except at 
some risk.* 

I may almost spare myself the trouble of men- 
tioning that, while in the cavern, every point and 
angle about ou^ drenched clothes was a water- 
spout. We were glad to escape and hurry home 
lor a change of clothes at the top of our speed ; 
even the count was satisfied. 

It is a fact worth remembering that, although 
the fields in the iicinity abound in erratic blocks 
I only found one in the chasm after an extensive 
search, a gneis ^ull of garnets. This shews that 
they had found their present resting-places in the 
fields around before the chasm was formed. 

Not long ago a mastodon was found in a fresh- 
water deposit, nefr the Falls, on the right bank 
of the river. 

Our ardour was a good deal cooled by this 
immersion. We were all for an early dinner, 

.IUhT" '"^I '^^ "^ "^'^ "'^^ '^""''^'•' """1 *e footing ' 
generaUy been made more secure, because visitors, aided by guidS^ 
penetrate farther than we did. > «» oy guides, 




with the intention, some of sauntering to the 
Burning Springs of Bridgewater, and others of 
crossing to the American side of the river. 

For my part, I went to neither, being occupied 
the whole evening with a sojourner at Forsyth's, 
attacked with inflammation of the bowels. The 
bouse was full of guests, the few servants, though 
kind, were busy and little used to extreme suffer- 
ing ; so I had to be nurse as well as physician, 
and shewed that, besides flourishing a lancet, I 
could ^ring a hot fomenting-cloth with any 
queen- of the washing-tub. In a couple of 
days the patient moved away, weak and grate- 

Our friends were pleased with their evening. 
Those who had crossed below the fells in the little 
ferry-boat spoke highly of the view from the 
middle of the stream. 

They mounted the woody American bank by a 
ladder, similar to that on the Canadian side, but 
shorter, and crossed by Judge Porter's two bridges 
into Goat Island. These bridges, of ordinary 
make, connect Goat Island with the main by 
means of an intermediate islet. They rest upon 
triangular buttresses, mere boxes filled with stones, 
and set with the sharp point opposed to the 
stream. There are now refreshment-rooms, bil- 



liard-tables, and] gardens on the island ; but the 
greater part is stjll in ornamental woods. 

The views from Goat Island are very fine, though 
partial ; those from the first bridge of Judge 
Porter are good. Looking downwards, the white 
foaming waters &re seen among round islets of 
black fir, hastening to the brink ; beyond which, 
in the distance, Ud veiled by a thin haze, the 
Canadian side of the river is seen, a lofty weather- 
cliff, fringed with coppice, and separated by a 
green meadow fr^m a range of grassy eminences, 
sprinkled with tujlip and other trees. 

The Chippewa or Bridgewater Burning Spring 
is about a mile and a half from Forsyth's, on the 
British side of the river, near a cluster of small 
houses called Bridgewater. 

JVumerous bul^bles of sulphuretted hydrogen 
gas escape here fiUm the bottom of the shallows 
near the bank. They are as large as a nut, and 
smell strongly. A bottomless barrel, full of 
gravel, is placed over a spot where many bubbles 
have appeared. To its luted head the hollow 
trunk of a small tree is fitted, which again re- 
ceives a short gun^barrel, from whose muzzle the 
gas arises, and, when set fire to, burns with 
a broad, flickeritag flame about eight inches 



The whole is enclosed in a shed for the pur- 
poses of exhibition. 

Several shy, little quails, pretty birds, as round 
as a ball, were met with in this walk to Bridge- 
water, glancing about among the long grass. 

The next morning we left in a body for Queens- 
ton, a village at the outlet of the chasm, and at 
the foot of the heights. We visited the whirlpool 
on our way, but I shall not notice it now, as it is 
described in the Appendix. 

This is a charming ride through a succession of 
farms, orchards, village-greens, and woods. The 
last abounds in the red-headed woodpecker, at 
least I have seen more of them there than else- 
where. It is a very splendid bird, ever on the 
wing, and fearless. Its head and neck are of 
a rich crimson, and the back, wings, and breast 
divided between the most snowy white and jetty 
black. I 

About half-way from Forsyth's, near a cluster 
of cottages and a school-house, we were shewn 
a large collection of Indian ornaments, rings and 
triangular plates of copper, for the nose pro- 
bably, many beads, and an Indian skull. They 
had been very recently found under and among 
the roots of an old tree. Not far from here we 
had a glimpse of Stamford Park, the country- 
seat of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Upper 




queEnston heights. 

Province, an exceedingly elegant imitation of 
^tlie Cottage Ornep of the Isle of Wight, sur- 
rounded by a broak verandah, and covered with 
roses. I 

As -we emerged' on the brow of Queenston 
Heights from the rather close scenery we had 
been riding through, a beautiful and uncommon 
landscape presented itself. 

In the immediate foreground, 300 feet below, 
are two pretty villages, Queenston and Lewiston, 
between which the Niagara, escaping from the 
chasm, expands into a tranquil river, and is traced, 
winding through a sea of woods, till it loses itself, 
at Fort George, in Lake Ontario, seven miles off, 
whose wide waters are represented by a narrow- 
blue line, bounded by the high lands about 
Toronto. The junction of the river with the 
lake is marked by the heavy white building on 
the east bank of tfie former, called Fort Niagara 
(in the United States), and the town of Newark, 
or Niagara, on th^ west bank, a pleasant place of 
moderate size. 

This panorama could not fail to be suggestive. 
I see, methought, that the epoch of man is but 
beginning, that the aspect of the earth, as we now 
behold it, in its inhabitants and garniture, is in 
its infancy. A thousand years are a small thing, 
a portion of the historic time which registers the 



present moments as they pass, itself a fragment 
of geological time which may overspread a thou- 
sand centuries. 

The Almighty and All-wise Being begins no- 
thing in vain, and in the end will leave nothing 
incomplete. " He appears to work slowly," im- 
patient man may say. How much remains to be 

Look at the forest-plains below me, idle, vast, 
and fertile, both in the Canadas and the United 
States— think of the illimitable and rich countries 
in every quarter of the globe, hitherto untouched 
by spade or plough— and yet I umst believe des- 
tined to be cultivated and enjoyed by countless 

The physical condition of man— how wretched, 
how inconsistent with his destinies ! and yet how 
full of promise ! | 

Again, how much has man to learn ! How far 
beneath true, practical Christianity is the civili- 
sation of this day anywhere! Ignorance and per- 
verseness on the part of the weak, and oppres- 
sion on the part of the strong, are almost uni- 
versal. Thebloody hoof of despotism is still on 
many kingdoms, and false religions are betraying 
the bulk of mankind. And yet I both see and 
hear the footsteps of physical and religious pro- 
gress. I dare not compare, in number, zeal, and 



power, the real servants of the Maker of all 
things, and those who serve him not — the dispro- 
portion is enormpus. 

I repeat, that there seems much to be done 
before the impending change comes, and that, 
probably, by ordinary agencies. The millen- 
nium may indeed intervene. May it come 
quickly ! | 

Many good ra m are expecting the almost im- 
mediate end of tne present constitution of things ; 
but they have Scripture warrant for nothing 
beyond uncertainty. They are influenced by 
temperament, not by reason or inspiration. 

We took up our abode at the Queenston Hotel, 
a humble but clean house of entertainment, and 
next morning were taken over the rugged, grassy 
heights, overhanging the village, to see the 
battle-ground where fell, in 1812, the energetic 
and gallant Brock. Our friend (Mr. Ridout, of 
Queenston) had been present in the battle. He 
shewed us the spot where the victory was won, 
■where the American commander (General Win- 
field Scott) gave up his sword, and where the 
British general received his death-wound ; nei- 
ther did he forget to point out the broken preci- 
pice, fringed with shrubbery, down which the 
American soldiers sprang to avoid the English 
bayonet, and so nerished by a death more forlorn, 



lingering, and painful still, at the bottom of the 
cliff or in the waters. I hope there is exagger- 
ation in this part of the battle narrative. 

We were sorry that a landscape so full of 
beauty should be connected with so sad a story 
as a battle always ought to be felt; but so 
imperfectly Christianised is the world as yet; 
people and rulers both so ready to invade and 
oppress, that physical courage and contempt of 
death itself in the execution of a professional 
duty must be applauded. Cowardice, crime, and 
national decay, always go together, as do bravery, 
virtue, and social progress. We find, in the 
imperishable pages of Scripture, thirty verses 
(2 Sam.) dedicated to the names and exploits of 
valiant men, from Eleazar, who smote the Philis- 
tines until his sword clave to his hand, to Benaiah, 
who went down and slew a lion in a pit in the 

time of snow. 

We returned home to dinner ; and afterwards, 
with great regret, separated for our respective 


Here, perhaps, I ought to stop ; but I cannot 
help briefly narrating two incidents which oc- 
curred on this same day. 

As we were looking out of the inn-window, 
while the servant-maid (or daughter) laid the 
cloth for our repast, we saw a female procession 




street. We called to Rhoda for 

moving up the 

an explanation. I 

"Oh, gentlemen !" said she, with a proud 
smile, " do you not know ? The soldiers' chap- 
lain, who has been here for a couple of years, is 
leaving us. Wtell, he has just married one of the 
MissBinks', who lives, twelve miles back, behind 
Short Hills. So the town has determined to pre- 
sent the bride with a new bonnet and a silk 
dress, — very handsome of course. I have seen 
them. Yes," she added, after looking into the 
street, " they aj-e walking to Mr. S.'s house, the 
white house andl green shutters facing the river." 

The procession was wholly of prim village 
ladies, smiling t>r serious according to their dis- 
positions — aboijt twenty couples — a tidy, happy 
little girl in han^l here and there. 

At their heads most solemnly walked, with 
white wands, two middle-aged men, prosperous 
churchwardens perhaps. Behind the male leaders 
came a single female, bearing the bonnet on a 
tray, but hid frop vulgar gaze and from dust in a 
white muslin najikin ; and then followed, covered 
in like manner, the bulky, but light, silk dress. 

It was all methodically done in the true com- 
bining spirit of the Saxon race. Some collected 
the money, others made the purchases, being 
eminent in such transactions. Several minds 



were required for the inditing of the address, and 
two esteemed friends of the bride bore the gifts. 
So said the voluble Rhoda. 

And thus the grateful feelings of the little coni- 
munity made its fitting manifestation; and the 
hearts of two amiable and diligent servants of 
God were encouraged. Such a scene could only 
have occurred in a simple state of society. 

The Rev. Mr. B. S. took many ways to win 
the hearts of the Upper Canadians. One of the 
most effectual was marrying the tall, fresh-co- 
loured daughter* of a worthy militia colonel, 
whose ancestors came from Holland. 

He thus proclaimed his determination to end 
his days in Canada. A multitude of new rela- 
tions and sympathies sprung up at once between 
him and his flock. I 

Mr. S. was by birth and education an English 
gentleman. In his thoughtful, mild face— in his 
simple and most engaging demeanour — it was 
instantly seen that all his thoughts were centred 
in the execution of his high commission. His 
very uncommon pulpit talents were only secondary 
in usefulness to the affectionate, holy, and labo- 
rious tenor of his life. 

* An exceUent pastor's wife she made. I spent a happy even- 
ing with them afterwards at Montreal, where Mr. S. was of great 
serrice in hia Master's cause. 



Two of us 


determined to walk to Newark 
(seven miles) fot- the purpose of embarking in the 
Ontario steamer for Kingston. 

We were wal^sing steadily along the river-side, 

among alternate woods and farmsteads, the bank 

being often hid \n shrubbery and fine trees, when 

a soldier in an undress, and carrying a bundle, 

and a piece of board a yard long and six inches 

broad, overtook us. Quickly passing us, he ran 

down to the water's edge by a little bush-entangled 

path. In a moipent or two he had launched into 

the stream in a very little skiff. He looked about, 

wiped his brow, and, kneeling down, began to 

push eagerly in a slanting course, with his poor 

board, for the Apierican shore, 700 yards distant. 

He was a degerter from the little garrison of 

Queenston. Wd sat down on a knoll to see what 

would happen. 

When the map had got half-way across, turn- 
ing our heads, wjith a natural curiosity, in search 
of some pursuer?, we saw, with beating hearts, 
some distance up the river, a boat with four sol- 
diers rowing and a serjeant steering, in full rush, 
to intercept the nunaway. 

I own that th^ regimental triangles,* clotted 
with gore, came before my eyes, and I earnestly 

wished the man 

to escape. He, too, instantly 

* A wooden frame to which the soldier to be flogged is tied. 



saw his danger, flung a large stone out of the 
boat into the water, dashed his cap on the floor 
of his coracle, and coolly, but most stoutly, 
wrought with his board. 

At one time I was sure that he would be 
caught. I looked momentarily for the uplifted 
musket, but the serjeant was unarmed— perhaps 
by order. 

Tiie chase, though hot, was short. The whole 

thing was over in five minutes. The four-oared 

boat, going (with the current) six or eight miles 

an hour, pounced upon the man one moment too 

- late. 

He had barely beached his cockle, snatched up 
his cap and bundle, and disappeared, without 
ceremony, in the foreign bush, when his pursuers 
swept by him with such force that they could not 
stop themselves, and so allowed the fugitive to 
get too far inland for further chase. 

My heart was in my mouth all the time, and I 
was upset for the evening. 

Desertion along the whole Canadian frontier is 
frequent: it is a most dishonourable act ; and yet 
there are strong inducements to be guilty of it. 
Common soldiers often become thoroughly dis- 
gusted with their monotonous, hopeless, and often 
annoying mode of life. Among no class of men 






is suicide so frequent, and especially in the British 
dragoon regiments. 

A soldier in debt, or in fear of punishment, 
sometimes uujpstly (for tyranny exists every- 
where), rows (j)ver the narrow water-line, and 
secures, he expects, not only liberty, but wel- 
come, and eventually, if industrious, the posses- 
sion of land, with the sweets of a domestic circle 
of his own. \Mith such temptations, what wonder 
if an English peasant soldier often disloyally 
crosses the border ? 

But, practically, nine out often deserters are 
driven by want into the American army — a service 
in bad repute, most irksome in peace, and espe- 
cially dangerous in war. The soldier has been so 
long provided fcjr by others, that he usually has lost 
the faculty of self-maintenance and continuous 

I was once present at the roll-call of a company 
of infantry at Sjacket's Harbour on Lake Ontario, 
and every name was British or German — there 
was scarcely cjne American. Their Christian 
names, Asahel, Ira, Zabulon, &c., are unmis- 




Winter Journey from Quebec to Montreal— A Story— To King, 
ston on melting ice— Disasters— Kingston— To Toronto in a 
boat along shore— Toronto— Yonge Street— Lake Simcoe— The 
Johnson Family— Notawasaga Carrying-place, and River. 

For the purpose of making my descriptions of 
each district the more clear, compact, and con- 
tinuous, it may be remembered that I stopped 
short in the Second Excursion at the entrance of 
the French River into Lake Huron; because I 
then only skirted in a hurried manner a part of 
the north shore of the latter, and knew but. little 
about the rest of that fresh-water flood. 

I shall now be enabled, in an early part of this 
excursion, to speak fully of Lake Huron, and 
then to continue ray narrative in an orderly man- 
ner through Lake Superior to the Lake of the 
Woods, in South Hudson Bay. 


I' 1 



In the suraijer of 1823, my esteemed friend Col. 
Delafield * th(^ American agent of the Boundary 
CommisMon, tjie two astronomers, with their staff 
and myself, were directed to proceed to the Lake 
of the Woods, for the purpose of surveying it, and 
Rainy Lake, another very large body of water, 
be passed over on the way thither 

The ground to 

was mostly ne^v to me. 

The British portion of the expedition were or- 
dered to leave ^ingston, in Canada West, as early 
in the year as jwssible, in a beautiful clinker-built 
boat for Toronto. From thence we were to trans- 
port boat and bkggage thirty-seven miles by Yonge 
Street, in a waggon, to Holland's Landing on 
Lake Simcoe ; then to pass into Lake Huro^n by 
the pretty rivej Notawasaga, and so onwards to 
Fort William, ^n Lake Superior. At Fort Wil- 
liam we were to find, ready for us, two north 
canoes, manned by six voyageurs each. In these 
we were to proceed by the Grand Portnge, along 
the old commercial route, to the Lake of the 
Woods, while tlje American party were to pursue 
the new route .jip the River Kaministigua. 

As this excuijsion is long and diversified, it is 
naturally divide^! into four parts, under the heads 
of— 1st, The Slj. Lawrence, Lakes Ontario and 

* Now Commandait of West Point Military Academy, on the 
Hudson River, state of New York. ^ 


Simcoe; 2d, Lake Huron; 3d, Lake Superior- 
and 4th, The Lake of the Woods, &c. ' 

As the Commission was to meet early in May 
for the transaction of business, at Kingston b 
Upper Canada, I left Quebec, together with Col. 
Hale, the British agent, in the first week in April, 
1823, With the hope of arriving at Montreal at 
least before the approaching thaws should render 
the roads impassable. 

At two in the morning of the appointed day, 
herefore, the musical bells of the stage sledge 
(or cariole. as the Canadian calls it) were 
sounding adown the street, and then stopped 
at my door. I forthwith stepped in, abundantly 
well wrapped up. and with a green veil tied over 
my heavy fur cap, to protect my eyes from the 
snow-glare. i 

We were four in number, exclusive of our civil 
French driver. Winter travelling in Canada is de- 
lightful. W hen properly clothed, cold is only seen 
but not felt. It is probable that the exhilaration' 
universally experienced by persons in health in 
frosty air, may partly arise from a given bulk of 
the then condensed air containing more life-givinff 
oxygen than at higher temperatures. We were 
fortunate in our weather. The snow was well 
iaid, and as crisp as salt; the winds were still- 
and the stars rode high, and many, in a cloudless 




sky of raven 
felt their task 


)lue. Our stout Normandy horses 

''glitly. and made excellent way. 

The whole dountry lay under a white mantle of 

snow, many f^et deep, burying out of sight the 

fences of the farmer, and often half-hiding hU 


We were soon hurrying through the pine woods 
of Carouge. The smooth and gently-hissing 
movement of bur sledge produced a dreaminess, 
which gave strange forms to the snow-loaded 
underwood, anjl to the strong lights and shadows 
sustained high in the air by the tall black stems 
of the pines ; \|hile here and there we had mo- 
mentary glimpUs of a broad, white, sparkling 
world beyond (he wood— either extensive mea- 
dows or the ice-bound St. Lawrence itself. 

The night appeared long, but at last the intense 
blue-black of the sky began to pale, and the stars 
slowly to disappear ; the dull grey of the morn- 
ing in the east slowly overspread the heavens, 
followed, after a weary interval, by the scarlet, 
pink, green, an^ yellow streamers of light which 
harbinger the glorious winter day-spring of Ca- 
nada. We shook ourselves, and were glad. So 
fine was the ice on the St. Lawrence, that at 
Point aux Trembles, about thirty miles above 
Quebec, we drove down to it and travelled on the 
broad bosom of the river for forty or fifty miles, 



charmingly relieved from the rough joltings of 
the highway. 

The high banks on both sides, the woods and 
habitations, were all snow-clad and at rest, save 
that now and then a door would open at the 
sound of our horses' bells. The day became 
beautiful; -the sun a ball of fire, making the 
snow and frost-work glitter almost painfully to 
the eyes. 

The ice was as smooth as glass, and so trans- 
parent that we could see the long tangled weeds 
below, visibly trembling in the current. I leaned 
over the sides of the sledge to see any fish, if pos- 
sible, but in vain. 

There is danger in very smooth ice, arising 
from the unsteady traction bringing the sledge 
round before the horses, on any accidental sharp 
pull. This occurred to us. Just when least ex- 
pected, while Jean Baptiste was fumbling in his 
pocket, with his glove in his mouth, our vehicle 
swung round, caught on something rough, and 
over we all went on the hard ice, with some 

Great, for a moment or two, were our surprise 
and confusion ; but no one was hurt. Old Judge 

^ blackguarded the driver furiously ; but as 

his French was very Scotch,- it did no harm. I 
found myself sitting unhurt on a hat-box, pressed 

! J 



as flat as a pancake. Some broken traces 
were soon repaired, and we were again under 

At one o'clock we dined on mutton chops and 
potatoes, and fancied ourselves warmed with hot 
rum toddy. In half-an-hour we were pleased to 
mount and be^ off. I shall not dwell upon this 
journey to Montreal, nor in general notice our 
meals and relays. 

At the post-house of Batiscan I thought myself 
too warm, haviing on two pairs of pantaloons (as 
is the habit of] the country). Standing beside the 
sledge, I therefore took off one pair, and got in 
again, surrounded by a group of idlers waiting to 
see us start. I had seated myself, and was list- 

lessly making 
a small round 

marks on the snow, when I noticed 
paper package on the ground, and 
another and another. They proved to be doub- 
loons, worth ijearly four pounds each, which had 
fallen out of n^y pockets. Just as I picked up the 
third, the driver's whip set the horses off at a 
gallop. Another moment lost and I should have 
been a severe loser. We slept that night at Ma- 
chiche, two stages beyond Three Rivers. The 
latter we did not enter, but passed it on the St. 

We went '15 miles that day without any 
fatigue. The horses were always ready, and the 




drivers skilful and lively. Their activity in ma- 
naging the sledge is surprising. If they see a 
difficulty a-head which is not to be overcome with 
the reins, they jump off at full speed, and by main 
force wrench the rushing vehicle out of harm's 
way— a mass of ice, a snow bank, or a deep 
rut. Laying hold of the sledge, they will run 
alongside of it for half an hour with frolicking 

The next day we were off at four a.m. We 
quilted the St. Lawrence and followed the high 
road on its banks, along the street of houses 
I have noticed before, occasionally crossing a 
frozen stream. We had four horses for two or 
three stages, on account of their length. One of 
the drivers here was a Vermont man. His team, 
or span, were large bright bays, in first-rate con- 
dition and in perfect discipline. Although ex- 
ceedingly skilful, this man was careless. Now 
he went at a snail's pace ; in a moment after- 
wards he would whisper " Hist !" and we were 
galloping at full speed up an ascent, perhaps, — 
which he called sparing his cattle. 

It is quite common in Canada, as elsewhere, 
for logs of timber to lie on the road-side, and 
sometimes not a little in the way. We were 
going at top speed ; our driver had turned round 
to speak to Judge R , when we struck full 




against the end of one of these logs. The marvel 
was this, that all the violence was expended on 
the traces. They snapped like threads. No one 
was hurt. The sledge remained motionless, held 
back by the log, and the liberated horses stood 
trembling a few yards before us. 

We went round the shores of Lake St. Peter — 
not on it, on account of the roughness of the 
packed ice. 

I was extremely pleased with this portion of 
Canada, the seigniories of Berthier and St. Eliza- 
beth. The houses were numerous and good, with 
much land under tillage; and the people looked 
comfortable and! cheerful. I saw that in summer 
this was a pleasant country, with its winding 
streams, lanes of willows, wych-elms standing 
everywhere, solitary and large— and with shel- 
tering hills rising high in the rear. " Here the 
most fastidious," thought I, " might be well con- 
tent to dwell." 

Early in the day we arrived at Montreal, and 
took up (Stir abode at the Mansion-House Hotel ; 
the lady-like hostess proving to be an English 
acquaintance of mine in years past. 

While dining there, on the day of our arrival, 
with certain officers and temporary residents, a 
commander of ^he navy, carrying a cloak and 
small portmanteau, walked into the room. 





"Hey!" cried several voices at once, 
has brought you here ? " 

He looked discomposed and flushed, when he 
answered, "The same thing that took me away 
— music: but more and worse. I left because 
the landlprd (Martinnaut) would not stop the 
flute in the next bed-chamber to mine. Phave 
returned (knife, fork, and plate, waiter !) because 
my neighbour at Clamp's CofiFee-house plays day 
and night on the key-bugle." 

As we did not leave Montreal for ten or twelve 
days, we accepted several invitations, — one espe- 
cially to an evening party, at the house of a rich 
old Canadian. Several officers were there ; one 
of whom, as tall, stiff, and slender as a Polish 
lance, I thought at the time was exceedingly 
attentive to a pretty little orphan niece of our 

One of the ordinary miseries of a garrison 
town is the propensity of the young and fair to 
ruin themselves, and break the hearts of their 
fond friends, by inconsiderate marriages with 
officers of scanty means. , 

A week after this evening party saw the niece 
a bride, to the boundless grief of the worthy old 

The young lady had an useful thousand pounds 
in her pocket. 





It SO happened, that two days after the mar- 
nage we left ^ontreal for Kingston, very ea X 

seven a.m we ,.me m sight, at La Chine, of Lake 

St. Lou,s,full,Kiee, floating trees, &c., and the 
road a quagmire of mud and ice. 

^e made comparatively rapid pb-ress be 
cause we h.d good horses; and so w^e pLd 
-ong other j^ople. the new-married c upLo J 

tl d ; . ^^ ■" ^'- ' '^' *^" °«^-'' driving, 
he dehcate yoMng creature chatting and lau^h 

-g under the inclement sky. Two large box°es 
-jage-worn ..ere in front, and a ragamuffin' 

lad was percheOehind, to bring the rquipage 
back at the end of the stage. .1 sighed to sfe 

are usually borne with light hearts. 

My aged and cautious fellow-traveller. Colonel 

H— , made some very incontrovertible remarks 

on the transaction, which I omit 

Two years afterwards, I met accidentally the 
young lady in ope of the passages of Kingston 
Barracks. Although her cheeks were pa^rand 
somewhat hollow, she still smiled ; for the Rifle- 
man had proved a good husband. How or 



Durmg the last day or two of our forced stay 
at Montreal a sudden thaw set in, which would 
have prevented our reaching Kingston in time 
for the Commission Conference, had we not set 
out on the instant. It is well known that on 
such occasions the roads in Canada become im- 
passable. Carriages and horses are therefore 
risked only on exorbitant terms. Only reflect 
on the immense valley of Upper Canada, over- 
spread with snow and ice, now melting, and 
drowning all things during their tedious journey 
down the St. Lawrence and its tributaries, to the 
ocean. Were it not for a provision of nature, by 
reason of which the snow and ice of all intensely 
cold countries melt with great slowness, farms, 
soil, houses, and people in Canada, would be 
swept away altogether. 

We contrived/ to cross the head of Lake St. 
Louis, near the locks of the Cascades, on slushy 
honeycomb ice -not very pleasant to move about 
upon; and pursuing the common road at the 
rate of one or two miles an hour, we at length 
arrived at Coteau du Lac, a small cluster of 
houses at tlie lower end of the Lake St. Francis, 
forty-four miles from Montreal. 

We slept at the rude-looking, but really civil, 
old French hedge-inn. not far from the pictur- 





e^ue cross ^hich we see in Bartlett's truthful 
sketch of thi^ spot. 

I retain a lively remembrance of the mountain 
of rank feathers which composed our beds, and 
which all but smothered us. 

Starting early next morning, we were pleased 
to find that Lake St. Francis (25 miles by 5^) 
would bear a sledge. Along it, therefore, we 
went at a slapping pace for many miles; but as 
the day drew on, large rents in the ice began to 
form a mile long each, with partial sinkings and 
overflows. We therefore left the lake a little 
above the River Raisin. 

We then quitted the sledge, and were glad of a 
common cart tp carry us over the half-frozen and 
deep sludge of the road, and through a cleared 
flat country, deformed with the ugly Virginia 
fences and tree-stumps, but dotted with good 
houses m front of dense woods, all looking Wank 
and dismal enoqgh at this period of the year ' 
We stopped, weary, cold, and bespattered, at 
the pretty village of Cornwall, a little above the 
head of Lake St. Francis, and seventy-eight miles 
from Montreal. It was the first considerable 
collection of houses we had seen in Upper Canada. 
Good work, considering, we made next day • 
for we reached prescott, forty miles from Corn- 


wall, in a spring waggon. Our road, such as 
the season left it, passed through a productive 
but marshy country, and ran close to the St. 
Lawrence— always a quick current, and often a 
boiling rapid— plunging over ledges of rock, and 
among islands of maple and oak. Since my 
visit, gigantic ship-canals have been here con- 
structed, for the transit of produce and goods; 
and the traffic is already very great. 

Through the openings between the islands in 
the wide river we see the American shore, and 
the town of Waddington. which, being on a rising 
bank, appears to advantage. 

Colonel Fraser has a good house, twelve miles 
below Prescott : ten miles below which town we 
trotted briskly through the battle-field of Chryst- 
ler's Farm (1813). It was a very important 
victory. I looked attentively at the scene, and 
rej(|iced that I was there af(er the fray. The 
vulgar flatness of the ground, the stagnant 
ditches, the mossy, rotten fences, the dwarfed 
leafless trees, and the drowsy creaking of a pot- 
house sign hard by, indisposed me for a patriot's 
death,— there, at least. 

Four miles below Prescott, a Governor of 
Upper Canada ordered a town to be built ; but 
Nature said "No." and beat the Governor ; there 
being no convenient harbour. Many houses 



48 „„ 


7 ! '■"'■'"'» ""■I' "four bedchambers 

A fe,v hundred yards east of Prescott i Tl! specimen ,of a „,i,i,arj blook-l nsl „ Ca" 

nada. Il is caM Fort WellL, ""f." "" Ca- 

on « «... J "ellmglon, and s placed 


Half a mile still furthpr «==* 
windmills, a sharp Zhtl I '"'''' '''' '' '^^ 

~..aS:'z-:r^— - 

Under the walls of fh f 
rocks. I found masses of head o« ' 'Tk "^'^ '""''' P'^^^" 
in fine crystals. ^' '"°'='' ^'"^^' anthophylUte, &c. 



Prescott is a lively little place, of 2000 in- 
habitants (1847), with four churches and chapels. 
It consists of two principal streets, containing 
some decent houses, with barracks in the rear, 
occupied by a company of infantry. 

The St. Lawrence is at this spot a mile and a 
quarter broad, with a steam -ferry' to the Ame- 
rican town opposite, Ogdensburgh,— a place which 
exhibits many evidences of prosperity, being 
planted at the river-outlet of « rich and com- 
paratively populous back-country, famous for its 
wheat and iron ore; and, perhaps justly, for illicit 
commerce with Upper Canada (exchanging teas, 
&c. for broadcloth, &c.) 

The next day we proceeded onwards, for the 
first twenty miles through a country at any other 
time agreeable, full of river- views and agricultu- 
ral landscapes, and containing the handsome and 
showy town of Brockville (population, 2111 in 
1847), twelve miles from Prescott, and sixty-two 
from Kingston. It is chiefly built of stone, and 
many of its houses would be thought excellent in 
Europe. It enjoys the commerce of a fertile, 
well-settled district in the rear. 

The immediate vicinity of Brockville is in 
every direction charming— beautiful hills behind, 
partly in woods and partly in greensward— while 
the river-front is a sweet scene of rocky islet and 

VOL. 11. ' ' 




placid ^re^^ T5rith Mqitjs Tqwii, a cluster of 

.white louses Qn the Anaericao shore. 

; JBut new weenterpd a semirbarbarous country 

of fqr«st» iiyiupierable rocky mounds, little jxmds 

and lakes, with a few, miserable clearances, and 

»n- ufioouthpeasaniryi bard-to-do— such as we 

a^e in Switzerland, when we leave the fat vales 

*«4 ascend the alpine acclivities. The roads 

^ere only passable at a ftipfs pace, with many a 

deep slough and knoblyr rofsk in the way. We 

*aw scarce a living thing, gaye a eerjeant or two 

r-a bird, very like our" hJackbird, but having 

,sicarlet epaulet^. . 

This rugged tract is a spur, about seventy miles 
hroad, of primi^ivfe rocks, going southwards from 
the vast formations in the north of that class, 
and connecting them with those of the United 
States. . _■ 

. We at length arrived at Andrews' Inn, near 
Mallory's Town, on the high-road to Kingston ; 
and very thankfully. 

, This family, a fine specimen of the true Yankee, 
took to us coolly, with none of the agile politeness 
of our hosts at Coteau du Lac. 
, Arriving lat«, and leaving early, we saw no- 
thing, of the men; but the womenkind were tall, 
gppd-looking, and barely civil. I learnt the very 
characteristic ilames of two of the daughters, as 




-jMVl-i" I 


II i 




I was dressing in the dark, between five and six 
next morning, in a sort of lean-to, communi- 
cating with the bouse, and which served as my 

" Irene," says one of them, " you have not 
washed up the dishes yet." 

"No, Aurely," replied the other; "neither 
have you scoured the kitchen floor." 

My blankets here were again thin and few, 
and the crannies in the wall wide and many. 

A sketch of this inn and its environs is given. 

We might be thirty-five miles from Kingston 
at this inn, and were therefore drawing near our 
journey's end. 

The road, however, only became worse, if pos- 
sible, and the country, chiefly a forest, more 
thickly studded with mounds of gneis or of white 
marble or serpentine. Houses were very rare. 
We seldom saw the St. Lawrence : when we did, 
it was black, swollen, and full of moving fields 
of ice. ■ I 

There had been during the night a frost after, 
a warmish mist on the preceding day. This had 
the curious but well-known efiect of sheathing 
the woods in ice a quarter or half an inch thick. 
The stiff", white-candied limbs of the trees strike 
the eye very strangely ; but the weight of the 
added matter often breaks the young trees and 





extensive dis- 

middlfi-sized boughs, over very 

trictSl *; • ' 

; This whole daiy was heavy enough. It was 

principally spent among miry woods, bogs, and 

rocks, with the exception of two cultivated plains, 

on one of wiich we dined, and which were level 

'and fertile, fi-oni being based on limestone. 

But eveniiig set in again in those dishearten- 
ing and desolate places. 'We felt that we were 
abroad' most inauspicioiisly.' A 'thick, chill fog 
arose, breathing' additional gloom and obscurity 
■upon us. Id ur pace'" grew even slacker than 
before,*^ whiclji to an " Englishman would seem im- 

In fact, wf had thick darkness all around. We 
saw that our horses must fail, although fresh 
from Brockville and well rested at Andrews'. 
They could pot support the ceaseless strain and 
the occasional extra effort whipped out of them. 
We were th(inking of humanity and of halting 
(where ?), when we suddenly plunged into a deep 
hole, and broke our axle-tree, at between seven 
and eight p.ii. 

We sent ihe driver to the next house for help 
and light. It was a good mile oft*. He did not 
return for three hours. As there was no aid to 
be had at the firet house, he had to go further ; 
and there he had met with comfort, if I am to- 





Judge by his renovated looks. But I ought to 
mention, that when he returned to U3 I was within 
an ace of discharging a pistol at him. 

Not liking the neighbourhood, so near the fron- 
iiers, although in reality there was little 
I sat on watch, with a loaded pistol, on the dri- 
ver s seat, which was higher than the body of the 
waggon, and commanded a long lane or avenue 
of trees, — not that I could then see up it. 

There sitting a very long time, in a half-frozen, 
dreamy state, I saw a gleam on the more distant 
trees,— their massy pine branches metamorphosed 
«very moment into some new and ghostly shape 
by the light and the fog. In the centre of the 
gleam was a ball of white fire, rather high in the 
air, which slowly -very slowly -enlarged, qui- 
vered, brightened, and glared, until it came quite 
<5lose to me and filled all things, when I actually 
screamed out and tried to point the pistol at the 
advancmg object. But fortunately the truth oc- 
curred to me that it might be Jonathan, our 
<iriTer, with his lantern held high over his head 
that he might see the better. 

Jonathan it was, and he brought us good news, 
—that we must walk some couple of miles to a 
farm-house, where a spring- waggon, well filled 
with straw, would be ready to carry us on to King- 
ston, then eight or nine miles distant. 



Having pUced our trifling baggage on the 
horses, we wearily trudged to the promised refuge, 
and were soon oflF again. Our carriage was left 
in the road till morning. 

While taking a little refreshment, I could not 
help smiling at the children and farm-helpers, — 
half dressed, roused from their beds, peeping at 
us from behiQd the elders, with wonderment and 
pity. We h^d fallen into the hands of decent 

By way of climax to the hardships of the day, 
soon after we got nestled in the straw a gentle 
rain, mixed with a few soft flakes of snow, began 
to fall ; and this after a time thickened into a 
continuous soaking shower. This misery, addi- 
tional to the bad roads and darkness, quite upset 
us. Umbrellas were vain things ; our hats were 
softened almost into pulp, and our clothes shined 
in the light of the lantern as if dipped in oil, with 
the thorough steeping we were undergoing. 

I expected a mortal cold, but was disappointed. 
We sat shivering through the tedious night ; now 
and then faintly smiling at our forlorn estate. 

One o'clock in the morning showed us the 
lights of Kingston — dim and few, and the com- 
fortable old hotel, since deceased. 

We were fit for nothing but warm tea and a 
bed ; these wp had, and a bath in the morning. 

\ * 





This journey of two persons from Quebec to 
Kingston (380 miles) cost 901. In the course of 
last war. Colonel Bonnycastle states that each 
shell sent from Quebec to Kingston cost the 
country a guinea. 

A talented traveller, speaking of the vicinity of 
Kingston, says, " the cause which has surrounded 
Toronto with a desert has done the same for King- 
ston, otherwise well situated. On the east side of 
Kingston you may travel for miles together withr 
out seeing a human dwelling ; the roads accord- 
ingly are most abominable to the gates of this 
the largest town in the province." Not so now. 

The cause he refers to is the land being in the 
hands of absentees and others making no use of 
it. But the fact is, the land is often not worth 
cultivation, and the roads themselves are very 
little used. They are tolerable in summer, and in 
winter all defects are hid under snow. 

The day after our arrival the Commission began 
its short session, the other members of it having 
contrived to make their appearance from their 
several homes. | 

We were engaged for several days in general 
conferences, verifying accounts, examining the 
beautiful maps, which <2J inches to the geo- 
graphical mile) had been completed during the 



past winter, and in laying down instructions for 
the service of the coming summer. 

These things done, the Commissioners de- 
spatched the working party already enumerated 
on their long journey of 1400 miles. Until the 
month of November they were to lose sight of 
civilised life. j 

Kingston appeared to me to be an agreeable 
residence, — stirring, healthy, and cheap. The 
environs beipg elevated, the spectator walks 
amid an eve^-changing panorama, firstly of the 
comely town itself, and then of the high promon- 
tories, Frederic and Henry, crowned with forts 
and barracks — of dockyards, with men-of-war 
on the stocks — of large and fertile islands, — and 
in the south-west, of the open and breezy lake. 

Kingston i$ the principal naval depot for the 
Canadas, and J8 strongly garrisoned. Function- 
aries in the l^gal and other branches of the public 
service are also numerous ; so that a large and 
agreeable society is collected here. 

European intelligence is received quickly, via 
Sacket's Harbour, the corresponding U. S. naval 
station. Booiks are^xceedingly cheap. 

Kingston is imnfleasurably improved since my 
visit. I do not pret«nd to describe it. To- 
gether with Its suburbs, it now contains 11,000 




inhabitants, with ten churches and chapels, 
ninety- four taverns!! nine bakers! seven butchers! 
three booksellers, and two sausage-makers. It 
has an imposing edifice for various public pur- 
poses, entirely of hewn stone, at the cost of 
18,000/. Tl^re is a college, two civil hospitals, 
a mechanics' institute, and, indeed, the appliances 
and comforts which in England are only found 
in much larger towns. The best bridge in Ca- 
nada is that which Government has built across 
Cataraqui Bay, to connect Point Henry with 
Kingston. At the back of the town are large 
roomy barracks for the soldiery. 

On the 14th of May we took our leave and 
embarked on board a roomy open boat, to coast 
Lake Ontario as far as Toronto, 181 miles from 
Kingston, and from thence to proceed in her, via 
Yonge Street and Lake Simcoe, to Fort William 
in Lake Superior, and so on, as already men- 

The voyage was commenced with gloomy fore- 
bodings of rheumatism and ague ; but they were 
only partially verified. During its course I had in- 
numerable opportunities of admiring the patience 
and good-humour of my companions under an- 
noyances and privations, severe in their kind, and 
endured (as I could not endure them) for the 
hundredth time. 

?). .?^Uv-^. 


• 4 


We coasted close in shore by Ernest Town, 
Bath, Adolphus Town, and Nappannee, twenty 
miles, to the mouth of the large and singular 
Bay of Quinte, along a farming country, with a 
mere glimpse of one or two of the towns, or 
rather villages, just named. 

We encamped in a swamp close to the lake. 
The rain fell in torrents, and soon went throuo-h 
our one thin tent, giving us a foretaste of good 
times to come. The tent, I may now observe, 
barely allowed the three gentlemen who occu- 
pied it to liel down side by side in close con- 

The Bay of Quinte is very singularly formed, 
between the irregular peninsula of Prince Ed- 
ward's county on the south, and the main land of 
the midland district on the north. Its length, 
through its various windings, is fifty miles, and 
its breadth varies from one to five. It has seve- 
ral arms or sounds in different directions, from 
two to six miles long. It is very picturesque 
when the traveller is fairly within it, and so con- 
tinues to its head, the Carrying-place, — the pro- 
montories being often lofty, tree-crowned, and 
surrounded by broad sheets of water, spotted with 
islets. Large farm-houses of grey stone, villages, 
and even towns, such as Belleville and Hallowell, 
are perpetually showing themselves. The ride 



from Kingston to Belleville passes through a 
charming country. | 

Opposite Capt. Williams's fine farm, near a 
ferry, is situated the Lake of the Mountain. It 
discharges into Lake Ontario beautifully, by a 
cascade shaded by pines, from a height (by guess) 
of 150 feet. 

The Carrying-place, leading from the Bay of 
Quinte to the open lake, is two-thirds of a mile 
broad, and has a few houses and stores. A 
steamer from Kingston visits it every day. 

The only instance of rudeness I ever met with 
in the Canadas, while geologising, took place 
here, while breaking some fragments of limestone, 
in a stony field whose fee-simple was not worth ten 
"shillings. The owner came up abruptly to me, 
and said, " What you are about, thrashing my 
land with your hammer, I cannot imagine : but I 
•will not suffer it." And he requested me to leave 
forthwith, which I did. Previously to this gen- 
tleman's arrival, I had found many silnrian 
fossils there. 

There is little to record respecting this coasting 
voyage to Toronto. We usually kept close in 
shore, and thus saw but little of the interior. 
Where we had a glimpse of it, the land rose 
slowly to a moderate height, either in flats or 



The immediate shore (upon which I kept my 
eyes constantly fixed, in hopes of finding a mam- 
moth) seldom exhibited live rock, but always 
clay, sand, and gravel, in banks; and beaches, 
or rushy marshes, lining a succession of bays. ' 
The first remarkable feature westward is Pres- 
quisle, a biioad, low promontory of woods and 
grass, at the end of a bay three miles across. It 
is often used for a harbour. 

For many miles west of Presquisle we have 
only small bays ; but we were much interested in 
observing, at a greater or less distance inland 
(100 ta 600 yards) well-marked, ancient beaches' 
either in the shape of rocky walls, of long ridges 
of clean bowlders, or of sand, -especially ten 
miles west of Presquisle. 

Coburgh, seventy-two miles from Toronto 
pleased us njiuch. It stands at the mouth of 
Jones's Creel^, on a high gravelly bank. It is 
well laid out in good streets, with many excellent 
buildings, and has a very flourishing appearance. 
It has a population of 3347 (in J 845), twelve 
taverns, and ^hree booksellers, six churches and 
chapels, besides two theological colleges, Episco- 
pal and Weslteyan. It is supported by the Rice 
Lake country and a tolerably rich vicinity. 

Seven miles west of Coburgh we meet with 
Smith's Creek, Here commences a line (3J miles 




long) of clay and sand banks, ten to eighty feet 
high, with pastures above them, or woods of pine 
and cedar, and occasionally breaking into pictur- 
esque clefts and ravines. 

At thirty-five miles east of Toronto we began 
to pass for many miles very deep bays of shallow 
water, half grown up with rushes, fit haunt for 
myriads of wild fowl, and extending far inland, 
with long spits of shingle here and there, — the 
back country undulating and. showing the mouths 
of several rivers as they emerge from dense woods. 

Fourteen miles from Toronto " the Highlands 
of York" commence — bold precipices of clay and 
sand, 80 to 300 feet high, and seven or eight 
miles long. The angles of some of them are 
broken into towers and pyramids of considerable 
grandeur. They are well worth the geologist's 
minute attention, from the nature of their mate- 
rials, and the order in which they are deposited. 
I need say but little here of them, because they 
are noticed elsewhere. They are useful as land- 
marks to mariners. Six miles east of Toronto 
they lower into a woody bank, and retire to a 
short distance from the lake behind Toronto, and 
so proceed round the lake. 

The reader shall not be fatigued with our en- 
campments. They were usually in some glen 




near the lake. Perhaps there was occasionally 
a tavern within half-a-mile of us, but as we were 
well provided we did not go in quest. Besides, 
It was best to remain with our men. Our last 
camp was pitched on Gibraltar Point, on the 
outer side qf Toronto Harbour,-a mere swamp, a for ague. If we had passed the 
night in the town, all our men would have been 
intoxicated, with the recklessness of soldiers and 
sailors going long voyages. 

This boatf voyage is now seldom or never made 
as both sailing-vessels and steamers pass daily be- 
tween Kingston and Toronto. We found it rather 
monotonous, Save the bit of shore we were skirt- 

mainland nor isle was ever visible. 

ing, neither 

We never saw a human being from Presquisle 
to Toronto, ^ hundred miles (save at Coburgh) 
very i'ew hoqses, and those miserable ones, partly 
because we were always under the shadow of allu- 
vial cliffs, or beneath a fringe of woods, left per- 
haps for shelter. Once or twice we caught sight 
of the smok^ of a distant steamer, or heard in the 
early morning the loud complaint of the loon a 
large and beautiful fowl, as it floated a mile or 
two out on tlie quiet waters. 

At first tlipre was novelty in the rapid opera- 
tions of the iioilet, conducted wholly in the open 



air, before a little glass hung on a bush, with 
cold-water shaving once in five days. 

My Toronto and the city of the present day 
have hardly any relation to each other. Few 
places in North America have made equal pro- 
gress. It had in 1817, 1200 inhabitants, and in 
1848, 24,000 inhabitants, 91 streets (King Street 
two miles long), 21 churches and chapels, 10 
newspapers, 20 medical men, 5 artists and portrait- 
painters, 107 taverns, 16 auctioneers, 27 butchers, 
19 bakers, and 6 booksellers. The number 
of taverns observed throughout the Canadas is not 
altogether indicative of drunkenness, but of the 
extent of emigration and travelling in general. 

Toronto* is a gay place, and -in its wealthy 
shops, stately and crowded churches, paved and 
gas-lighted streets, public walks, societies, religi- 
ous, scientific, literary, and social, charitable in- 
stitutions, is much in advance of Eritish towns of 
the same size, as was said of Kingston. 

The vicinity is liable to ague and its kindred 
disorders. Rents are very high ; some houses of 
business in good situations are worth from 200/. 
to 250/. per aunum. The removal to or from 
Tordnjo of the seat of government will have no 

* Barometric 'range at Toronto is 1"65 inch, by an average of 
five years ending with 1841.— Capt. Lefroy, Jour. Geog. Soc. 
vol. xvi. p. 263. 





serious eflfiect upon its prosperity. It has become 
of fixed commercial importance. 

Although it has a pretty bank of pines for a 
screen behind, Toronto has little local beauty to 
recommend it. 

Glory-loiving Americans delight to visit Toronto, 
because in 1813 General Pilie surprised and sacked 
the place ; but his stay was brief. About 260 of 
the Americans were killed or wounded by the ex- 
plosion of a mine. Among the former' was the 
General himself, a young officer of great promise. 
At Toronto we sent our boat and baggage on 
^ , stout waggons to Holland's Landing (.37 miles), 
now but a hamlet, and then scarcely more than a 
single public-house in a marshy country on the 
river Holland, and seven miles from Lake Simcoe. 
We travtelled slowly to the same place due 
north, alon^ an old-established road called Yonge 
Street, and found the drive rather interesting. 

About a mile from Toronto we ascended the 
woody steeo already mentioned, and then soon 
after anothejr, when we traversed first some un- 
even ground, then a well-tilled plain, followed by 
a hilly regibn nearly to Montgomery's Tavern, 
ten miles from Toronto, at which, during the late 
rebellion, IVtajor Moody was brutally murdered. 
It is to be hoped his poor family have a liberal 



A rolling country, often marshy, partially cul- 
I tivated, took us eight miles to Fleck's Inn, where 

^ we plunged into a picturesque and rugged dis- 

trict, mostly wild, with ponds or meres in the 
M various hollows, full of perch, trout, &c.* How 

^ *^®y S^^ there I know not, as some of these lake- 

lets are quite isolated. Bond's Lake, one of them, 
is 783 feet above Lake Ontario, according to the 
observations of Lieutenant Lefroy, R.A. It is 
twenty-two miles from Toronto. 
i A tendency to ascend obtains all the way fi-om 

Toronto utifil we reach five and a half miles be- 
yond Fleck's. At that point (thirteen miles from 
Holland's Landing) we begin to descend towards 
Lake Simcoe for two miles, among ajumble of oak 
and pine ridges, called the " Oak Ridges," when 
we arrive at a level and agricultural district. 

Eleven miles from Fleck's we find Gamble's 
Inn, in a charming country, full of fine large 
farms on flats, varied by the alluvial terraces and 
mounds of some now forgotten stream or lake. 
Woods on high grounds surround the scene, and 
especially two pine-laden ridges, eight and five 
miles, respectively, distant from the lake, and 
running towards its west side. 

* Mountain Lake, in the Bay of Quinte, has plenty of fish, 
without the possibility of receiving any A-om other waters in the 
present state of the levels. 


SW^ Jr. '.- 


This district is occupied principally by Quakers, 
meekly rigid. Very pleasing it was to look upon 
theirquietjunwrinkled, well-fed faces on the road, 
and on their comfortable farm-servants. A few 
Mennonites or Tunl^ers are close at hand in the 
■wilder parts, whither they have been tempted by 
the greater cheapness of the land. 

From the Five-mile Ridge, just spoken of. Cook's 
Bay in Lake Simcoe becomes visible as a narrow 
belt of water, buriec^ in woods, with high lands in 
the west. 

Where Yonge St -eet crosses a little rise, four 
miles from Holland's Landing, we see on our 
north-east the neat country-town or village of New- 
market, with six chu rches and chapels, two ladies* 
boarding-schools, arid 600 inhabitants, in 1846. 

We remained as little time as possible at Hol- 
land's Landing ; and on the 24th of May we floated 
down the winding river on the edge of an im- 
mense morass to the left, and girt with pineries, 
into Lake Simcoe. 

At the point of enibarkation* the Holland river 
is about twenty-five yards across ; but it soon 

'*' Among some masses of limestone on the landing-place, brought 
by the farmers for agricultural purposes from the outlet of the lake, 
I found one rare bivalve (the orbiaiia cancetlata of Mr. G. B. 
Sowerby), only known in Sweden, some conularia, bellerophonet, 
and other fossils of the Silurian age. 




widens, and receiving four miles lower down a 
large branch, it becomes 200 yards broad, and 
opens into Cook's Bay, which is six or seven miles 
deep, and three miles across. 

Lake Simcoe (Shain-eong of the Indians) has 
pleasing features, clear waters, woody headlands, 
and islets. It is 498 feet above Lake Huron, 
according to observations made in 1845 by Lieu- 
tenant Younghusband (Director of Toronto Ob- 
servatory), and therefore 729 feet above the level 
of the ocean, — a fact which leads us to infer a 
severe climate. 

It is thirty-five miles north of Toronto, and is in 
length nearly thirty miles, and in its widest part 
about eighteen. It is a tolerably compact body of 
water. [ 

There are many islands in the north and east 
sides of the lake ; but only one is inhabited, and 
this by Indians of the Wesleyan denomination, of 
whose Christian consistency of life we hear very 
favourable accounts. | 

Tiie banks of the lake are generally low, and 
clothed with wood down to the water's edge ; the 
land, though fertile, is but |)artially brought under 
cultivation. In North Gwillimbury and Georgina 
there are some prettily situated farms, and there 
is now population enough generally to pay one 

I only know of six streams of any size which 




discharge into the lake. The names of the three 
greatest of these arethe Holland (in Gwillimbury, 
&c.), the Talbot (in Thorah), and the Brack (in 

Lake Simcoe is i-emarkable for the vast numbers 
of wild fowl, ducks, geese, &c. &c., which frequent 
its marshes. 

Its outlet is at the Narrows, at the north end of 
the lake. 

The Narrows lead into a romantic lake (Gougi- 
chin), full of limestone islands.* It is twelve 
miles long by four broad, and on its banks there 
are two villages, Orillia and Rama. It pours into 
the Severn or lyiatchadash river, which, with 
seven or more portages, runs into Matchadash 
Bay of Lake Hurftn. 

A large Indian barrow was opened about the 
year 1820 on thti shores of Simcoe lake, and a 
good many brass and other ornaments and relics 
found ; but I haVe lost all my notes upon this 
subject. Captain Skene, R.E., is my authority. 

The townshipsj of the Simcoe district are re- 
markable for thej beauty of their names. They 
were given to tl^em by Sir Peregrine and Lady 
Maitland. Somei of them, I may mention : — In- 

* This limestone is of a delicate pale grey colour, very fine in its 
texture, and in parts filled with organic remains. It has been ana- 
lysed at my request by Dr. Troost of Philadelphia, and found to be 
pure carbonate of lime, with a trace of alumina. 



nisfil, Medonte, Orillia, Vespra, Tecumseth, Sun- 
nidale, Essa, Rama, Oro, Adjala. They were one 
day at a loss for another name, when Lady Sarah 
espying a pretty lap-dog on the rug before the 
drawing-room fire, • suggested that its name, 
" Tiny," should mark a small part of the wilder- 
ness not far from Penetanguishene. The name 
was adopted. 

The surveyors of the state of New York have 
been most unfortunate in their territorial desig- 

This short sketch of a lake but little known to 
books having been premised, we may pursue our 

We breakfasted in a deserted hut on the Lake 
Shore, near Holland river. As it rained hard, we 
rendered it tenantable by flinging a tarpaulin over 
a rafter at one end. 

I speak of this breakfast on account of our hav- 
ing been annoyed there by a singular black fly in 
countless myriads, which I never saw elsewhere. 
We could scarcely eat or drink for them. Their 
black hairy bodies were one-third of an inch long, 
and their antennae were armed with beautiful flat 
brushes, also black. (Bibio. species ?) 

Other insects, besides the mosquito, sand, black 
fly, and ants, are sources of great annoyance iu 
the wilderness. On some parts of the plains of 




the river Saskatchawine (an immense stream 
which flows fro|n the Rocky Mountains into 
Hudson's Bay) there are marvellous crowds of 
wasps, which, aUhough they do not often sting, 
cluster round the traveller while reposing, and 
even gather upon the meat he is conveying to his 
mouth. I 

Cook's Bay, M'hich we had entered, has low 
woody shores,* and in my time was only inhabited 
on its east shore. 

Clearing this bay, Lake Simcoe opened to the 
view as a great expanse, with two islets off the 
north angle of the bay, and others, larger, in the 
remote distance easterly. 

Towards Kempenfelt Bay, on the west side of 
the lake, a very gentle rise of land is perceptible, 
and as we proceed down that beautiful bay it 
gradually becodes from forty to sixty feet high, 
chiefly covered ^ith pine groves ; now, however, 
in part, the seat of thriving clearances. 

Kempenfelt Bay runs about W.S.W., is frona 
one and a half to two miles broad, by nine miles 
deep, and distributed as usual into numberless 
shallow coves. | 

♦ Singularly loaded with large primitive bowlders for some dis- 
tance into the wood*. It is not so on the east side of the bay. 
There is some primitive rock in situ on the north and eaat sides of 
tlie lake, and a few ledges of limeatone are visible. 



The flourishing village of Barrie, with 500 inha- 
bitants, three churches, a mechanics' institute, and 
cricket club, stands at the extreme end of the bay 
(1847); in my time an untouched forest. 
I We took up our abode near the bottom of the 

M i bay in a lonely house, occasionally used as an inn 
by the few travellers going to Penetanguishene 
(thirty-two miles), or into Lake Huron by the 
river Notawasaga. 

It was then kept by a respectable person 
named Johnson, who had a numerous family. 
Here commences the portage of nine miles to a 
small branch of the Notawasaga ; and here we 
were detained for five days, during very stormy 
weather for most of the time. 

As we stay rather long at Mr. Johnson's, and 
as it is the last house we shall enter for three 
hundred miles at least, I will describe it. 

It was a clap-boarded* house, square in shape, 
and rather large, standing upon a gravelly bank, 
close to the lake. It contained a good kitchen, 
three or four sleeping-rooms, partly in the roof, 
two good parlours, and bed-chamber for guests of 
quality. I have had worse at the best hotel in 

So new was the wood when the house was put 
together, or so hot are the summers in Kempen- 

* k house faced with boards, Uid horizontally, and overUpping. 



felt Bay, that it had shrunk most grievously. 
The kitchen and the parlour might almost be 
called parts of a cage, so well were they venti- 
lated. I also remember a round tub of a boat 
staked to the lake shore, and a little garden of 
herbs near a high cleared bank of gravel, behind 
the house, ranging for an unknown distance 
parallel to the laike shore. 

An hundred yards or so inland begins the 
forest — a fragrant forest of firs, maple, beech, 
oak, and iron-wood — many of the trees from fifty 
to seventy feet hjigh, without a branch. As there 
is no undergrowth, we may walk at our ease for 
miles on a soft carpet of last year's leaves, thick 
as the slain at the battle of the kings whom 
Chedorlaomer overthrew. 

We were soon comfortable here. Good food is 
essential to pefsons exposed constantly to wet 
and cold. So ^e carried our own supplies, and 
were not dependent on the split fowl ayd lea- 
thery ham usually presented to travellers in out- 
of-the-way places like these. 

My compani<>ns were at their duties in various 
parts of the portage, hastening the progress of 
the boat and baggage, while I remained in or 
about the house. 

Towards the evening of our first day I asked 
our very obliging landlady for candles, and was 




surprised to learn that they had none. I was 
much disturbed. What was to be done during 
the three hours of darkness yet to come before 
retiring to rest ? 

She replied that they used a country-made 
lamp, fed with tallow, but that some candles 
should be made and placed on table in half an 
hour ; and so they were,— useful, good-looking 
moulds. After running a thick cotton thread 
down a candle-mould, they fill it with melted 
lard, and then sink it deep in the lake for fifteen 
minutes. Night by night, during my stay, such 
candles did good service— but not a little blown 
upon and wasted by the all-pervading wind. 

I took some delightful walks in the neigh- 
bouring woods, and along the side of the bay ; 
finding a few rare fossils. In one of these per- 
ambulations I met with a little wiry old man, 
who bad been a small farmer near Wakefield, 
and therefore called " Yorkshire Johnny." He 
had a clearance a mile or two to the north ; and 
we traflacked with him for butter. 

" Why, Johnny," says I, " you've got a des- 
perate long way from home. Don't you wish 
yourself in Yorkshire again?" 

"No," replied he; "not a bit on't. In old 
England we were in a standing fright at four 
things, — rent and rates, tithes and taxes. Slave 



we ever so hard, my old woman and me, we 
could not make ends meet; but now we are 
putting money inko ihe old stocking : "—and off 
he went. chucklUg. The four things this old 
farmer stood so much in fear of scarcely exist in 
the Canadas. | 

Like the Swiss cheesemakers in their mountain 
chalets. Johnny had put on a canvass jacket short sleeves, for coolness. Hi^ bare arms 
iiad anythmg but a pleasing look. 

Returning fro.rt a long ramble, '<a silent 

-stener to the stirs of the solitude," I thought- 

lessly walked by a back entrance into what may 

It was visible at once that I was an intruder 

upon an agitating interview. 

With his back to me, apparently gazing upon 

the lake below, was a shapely, but rathef s .fort 
young man, with massy flaxen hair flowing over 
h3s velveteen jacket; and before me, standing in 
^e middle of the room, was the mo.t beauLl 
g.rl of seventeen I ever beheld. I seemed to 
look upon an angel unawares. I had not seen 
W before, perhaps from her being in delicate 

anf TT 1^7""^ ^''' °^ '"°^^«"^« disturbed, 
and, alas! of fragUitv. She was small in persoo. 





and, as was easily seen through her simple dress, 
tenderly and elegantly fashioned. 

She was too transparently fair for health: her 
face was perfect — Raphaelesque — and wore the 
inspired melancholy of certain invalids, with 
faintly crimson lips and shining ivory brow — 
the blue, dove-like eye lifted upwards.* 

This attitude and play of feeling was but for a 
moment; for she iiiunediately accosted me with 
good breeding, and evidently with the hesitation 
of a half-formed purpose — which now I know. 

An elder sister coming in the instant after, 
opened to me, with affectionate zeal, the secret 
of the scene. The pair were lovers, and very 
naturally had their plans. 

The young man resided at a fur station, not 
very distant, and had heard of the approach of 
our party. He had come to offer himself as 
guide and huntsman to our party, thereby to 
make up a little sum for a very important object. 
But, unfortunately, we were provided months be- 
fore, so that we could not engage him. 

But, " who would die in this bleak world 
alone ? " as the silly song SHys. They were after- 
wards happily married ; and she lived among the 
rocks and cranberry-marshes of Lake Huron, 

* " Columbinog ocnlos in co^ooi porrigeiu." 


astonishing the 
threshold with 


few wayfarers that crossed their 
ber modest beauty. 
Nature seem$ to delight in contrasts and sur- 
prises : her faiifest things are out of sight. In- 
stead of this young person being placed on a 
barbarous and Inclement frontier, it would seem 
more fitting th^t she should have been the child 
of an English baronet; or, better still, of a well- 
beneficed Devonshire rector, of kind heart and 
elegant tastes. I am jotting Canadian pictures 
— accept this as one. 

The elder sisljer, Mary, was almost as remark- 
able in a different way. She was a strong, tall 
brunette, full of good-natured energy (she made 
my candles)— a handsome, broad-faced, happy 
dame,— one of those self-supporting institutions 
nobody inquires about. What became of her I do 
not know, and never shall.* She spoke bravely 
for her sister's l6ver, while the poor girl herself 
could only sit aqd wish. 

A few weeks before our arrival, just when the 
ice in the bay was breaking up, Mary, looking 
out of the windoW, saw a bear swimming across, 
and about midway. She called to a little sister 
about eight year^ of age, seized an axe, and both 

• From recent infoiUation, I have a fancy that she keeps an 
exceUent hotel at the gay little town of Barrie, hard by, and U as 
obliging and happy as «yer. 



jumped into their boat. The child paddled to 
the animal, now in full retreat, while the Amazon 
stood forwards, axe in hand, and clove his skull 
by repeated blows. She showed me the rich, 
glossy skin, now an useful trophy in sjedge and 
bed-chamber. After this story I had the weak- 
ness to be rather afraid of her. 

As the father of this fine family was not poor, 
and as they did not seem uneducated, I suppose 
he sent them to some neighbouring boarding- 
school for a year or two, as at Newmarket or 

At length we left Johnson's, to cross the 
portage — a broad, sandy opening in the woods, 
which I shall not further describe, as its features 
are now totally changed. 

Near its lower end we found ourselves over- 
looking from a lofty bank a vast prospect of 
marsh and wood, stretching to the south thirty 
miles or more, and bounded eastward by a long 
range of blue hills, flat-topped, and running in 
the direction of Cabot's Head, Lake Huron. This 
marsh does not go more than three miles nor- 
therly, and is succeeded by high forests and 
occasional lakes towards Penetanguishene. 

Not far from this escarpment there was, in 
1823, a post for two soldiers, as a guard to any 
military stores that might pass. An absurd ty- 



ranny was pradtised even here. The stronger 
sohlier was in tjhe daily habit of chastising his 
comrade for sujpposed breaches of discipline. 
Being seldom visited, the weaker man had no 
present redress. 

Into this forbidding marsh, which, in South 
America, would have been peopled with serpents 
and alligators, we descended, and near a deserted 
building embarkted in a stagnant creek, twenty 
feet broad, oftenl quite benighted by trees and 
creeping plants. 

We worked captiously among fallen trees and 
loosened masses of earth for eight miles along 
the perpetual doublings of the creek, among 
inundated woods of alder, maple, willow, and a 
few elm and ash. When we drew near to the 
main river, Notawasaga, the still water was ex- 
changed for a reflux against us. 

We entered tlje Notawasaga gladly from the 
north : it is large and long ; its principal 
branches rising near the rivers Credit (Ontario) 
and Grand (Erite Lake), in the townships of 
Mono and Amarajnth. 

We struck it, twenty-five miles from Lake 
Huron, thirty to forty yards broad, and running 
two miles an hour through grounds for the most 
part under water, with here and there mounds of 
slippery shining ooze, weedy mud, or even knolls 





of grass and trees. It has many sharp turns and 
long reaches, amid spots of exquisite woodland 
scenery. Here we often startled the busy wild- 
fowl. As we descend, the river begins to have, 
on one or other side, high banks; and it swells 
out into two pretty but small lakes, dotted with 
isles of marsh and willows, near the Rapids; the 
second being one mile above them. 

These Rapids are some miles from Lake Huron, 
and are nine miles long. They only average 
three miles an hour, and are not rough, except 
when obstructed by rafts of fallen trees. Their 
smoothness may, in part, arise from the bed of 
the river being of white clay or marl, which the 
soldiers of Penetanguishene use to clean their 
belts. I 

Three miles from the head of the Rapids I 
began to see in the right bank, near the water- 
mark, two horizontal seams or layers, each four 
inches thick, of fresh-water shells closely pressed 
together, and lying under from twenty to fifty feet 
of sand. This was very distinct for three miles 
down the Rapids, and more or less down to Lake 

These shells are unios, — precisely similar to 
those found now in the lake. They are lai^e, 
perfect, friable, with a calcined pearly lustre. 
Both valves are in juxtaposition, and often con- 




tain sand and tl^e smaller fresh- water univalves, 

&c. ; which latter are scattered thinly ahout these 

two layers. 

This deposit of Shells proves that Lake Huron 

has been much larger than at present, that its 

waters were theJi sweet, and that they were laid 

down during a period of tranquillity. 

About the middle of the Rapids the banks run 

up to the height of 120 feet, and consist of clay, 

capped with sand and fine gravel. 

Below the Rapids the river assumes a steady 

width of from 150 to 200 yards, with high scarps of 
sand, bearing groves of fir. It is now for several 
miles a truly fine river, the land about it dry and 
fertile, with som^ magnificent pines. Sunnidale, 
the township at its mouth, has only 174 in- 
habitants (1847). 

We saw scarce y any living thing in the lower 
part of the river. Now and then we caught sight 
of a wild duck dr a solitary Indian, and of his 
canoe gliding under the shadow of high and um- 
brageous banks. I 

The Notawasaga discharges into Lake Huron, 
between banks of drift-sand and shells, which, 
on the left, shelter the little trading-post of Mr. 
Robinson, while the other side has a thin grove 
of pines. There is a bar at the mouth; and, 
smooth as it was when I passed it (twice), it is 






the seat of a raging surf when a high north-west 
wind prevails, and is the dread of all who travel 

in canoes. 

"Huron! chantons. le lac Huron!" cried our 
steersman, as we swept rapidly between the petty 
ridges of broken white shells which hne the 
mouth of the river and the strand of the lake. 

He then struck up the spirited and origmal 
air, which is married to the- following simjjle 
words; and was well chorused by his comrades : 

" Le premier jour de Mai 
Je donnerais a m'amie 
Une perdrix, oh, la ! qui vole, qui vie, qui va U ! 
Une perdrix, oh, la ! volante dans les bois. 

Le deuxieme jour de Mai 

Je donnerais a m'amie 
Deux tourterelles, une perdrix, oh, la ! qui vole, qui vie, qui va U 1 
Une perdrix, &c. 

Le troisieme jour de Mai 
Je donnerais a m'amie 
Trois rats des bois, deux tourterelles, une perdrix, &c. 

Le quatrieme jour de Mai," &c. &c. &c.* 

* Taken from the mouth of th* singer. 





General Sketch— Canoe voyage along North Coast of Huron- 
Giant's Tomb— Indian Fishermen— The Gull's Nest— Crowds 
of Isles— Stormboujnd— Indian Grandmother and her Coracle — 
Indian Home — Pirry's Sound — Labrador feldspar — French 
River— La Cloche-lBeautiful Scenery— French Ruin— Sagamuc 
Rivers— Ojibbeway Indians— Rivers Missassaga and Thessalon 
—Copper Mines— Indian Sports.— North-west arm of Huron- 
Lake George— Straits and Villages of St. Mary— Society at St. 
Mary's— Embark fir Drummond Island in Lake Huron. 

pre|liminary remarks. 

As we shall feel more at home in our journey 
through Lake Huron, after a little preface descrip- 
tive of its principal features, I shall at once say, 

that I 

Lake Huron i^ the third of the great Canadian 
lakes from the Atlantic. It is bounded on the 




north by hills, morasses, forests, and stony bar- 
rens; in every other direction by fertile, low, or 
undulating lands. 

It is studded with islands innumerable, some 
emerging in diminutive mounds of naked rock, or 
in the gentle swells of inundated woods, so to 
speak ; and others in lofty table-lands, fifty miles 

long. I 

Its shape is triangular, but indistinctly, so that 
its real form can only be learnt by an inspection 
of the accompanying map. 

It is nearly 1000 miles round, and often 1000 
feet deep. Bouchette says that its length is 218 
miles, and its greatest breadth 180 miles, but, I 
think, not very correctly. 

Its heii^ht above the Atlantic is 694 feet. 
At the south-western angle of Lake Huron is 
Lake Michigan,* an enormous gulf, only sepa- 
rated from the former by Mackinaw Straits, four 
miles broad, but without length, and merely de- 
signated by two capes. 

By a glance at the map we see that Lake Hu- 
ron is all but bridged over, lengthwise, by the 


* Lake Michigan is 300 miles long, 65 broad, and 730 round. 
Soundings have given 800 feet in depth, in places. Lake Michi- 
gan has the St. Clair for its outlet ; but when its waters are 
unusually high, they flow by the Rivers Des Plaines and lUinoU 
into the Mississippi— a remarkable fact. 



cabot's head. 

Manitouline Islands, which stretch from Cabot's 
Head to the soijth-west mainland, and also nearly 
touch the north main in the La Cloche district. 

Of the three portions into which the lake is thus 
divided the twJ northern are full of shoals, rocks, 
and islands. 'Jhe southern division has scarcely 
a reef or islet, Ud is deep and broad ; as free to 
ship or steameil as the mid-Atlantic. It is larger 
than both the others taken together; but be it 
remembered that the Georgian Gulf alone is 160 

miles long. | 

Cabot's Head, ninety miles from the mouth of 
the Notawasaga, is a remarkable headland, evi- 
dently once a part of the Manitouline ridge. It 
is 144 miles almost due north of the outlet the St. 
Clair, and ruit northerly for twenty-five miles. 
It is not broad ; and consists of deeply-indented 
limestone bluffs, sometimes 300 feet high, skirted 
by reefs and occasional islets.* 

Let us say, a few words on the Manitouline 


The appellabon of " Manitouline," or " Sacred" 
Isles, is first observed in Lake Huron, and is con- 
stantly met with in the lakes further to the west. 

They are four in number, the Fitzwilliam (or 

* A Uttle to thi north-east of Cape Kurd U a very conyenient 
Larbour, a cul-de-fiac, 800 yards deep by 40 broad, with 7 fathoms 



Fourth), the Grand. Little Manitou, and Drum- 
monti, besides the Isle of Coves, and other frag- 
ments, from Cabot's Head to Fitzwilliam Island, 
the distance being fourteen miles, and almost 
wholly covered with shoals and islets. 

The Fitzwilliam* is small, but its neighbour, 
the Grand Manitou, is as large as two average 
English counties, being seventy-five miles long, 
with an average breadth of eight; the eastern 
half of it may be safely set down as twenty-five 
miles across. The old French maps make it a 
large, very long island. Previous to 1825 the 
English maps erroneously broke it up into many 


Its shores are everywhere deeply indented; 
singularly so in the middle (Bayfield's Sound) and 
at the east end, where Haywood's Sound on the 
north, and the Manitouline Gulf on the south, are 
only three miles apart, a low ridge of limestone 
separating them. 

The Grand Manitou is often rugged, high, pre- 
cipitous, looking from a distance like a succession 
of table-lands. The scenery is sometimes magni- 
ficent ; and it has large tracts bf fertile land. 

* On one of the islete close to the Fit«nlUam, Messrs. Thomp- 
son and Grant found rattlesnakes. The Flower-Pot Isle is also 
here, so called from two bare rocks standing together on the long 
tongue of a high Ulahd. The tallest is 47 feet high, with a small 
base and broad top. 



■ I! 



Its summers are hot, and vegetation rapid. 
Judging from Penetanguishene* (north-east 120 
miles), the winters must be very severe. 

Indians with their white superintendants alone 
occupy this islajid ; and these chiefly at the two 
Government villages of Manitou-wawning (Hay- 
wood's Sound) and at Wequemakong (Smyth's 
Bay), eight miles apart. 

They were formed in 1836 by Sir Francis Head, 
and, all things considered, have done better than 
might have been expected. In 1840 there were 
732 Indian settlers, of whom 437 were Christians. 
The Grand Manitou and the isles on its north, 
both easterly and westerly, are remarkable for 
dipping on their north side into the lake by a 
deep wall Mpst of their precipices are on their 
northern side. 

An island, rilled Wall Island by Captain Bay- 
field, has a submerged wall of this kind on its 
north side. Two miles out from it in the lake 
there is bottota at six feet, but move one yard 

* At Penetanguisben* the thermometer occasionaBy descends to 
-32°. Captain Bayfield has seen it at 40 , with rain during the 
day, and f»U to -33° during the night there.— Queiee Hitt. Soe. 

yol. jii. p. 49. 

In 1825-6 the eatreme range was 124° 1 The extreme range at 
Madeira i» perhap. 40°. Sir J. RicWson found the mean heat 
of the same year at this place to be 45°. 

In June and July the temperature rises to 92° ; when the heat i> 
oppressive to the sensation*.- Gwy- Soe. Journ. voL ix. p. 378. 



.herlv and you have a depth of 138 feet, with 
northeil) »"" J" i., instance rLeutenant 

. muddy bottom. A .imil»'- M'*""" L 
a muuuj p,ilp,„,'s Narrows, ic. 

Grant] occurs .n Pellet." »l ^ ,,,„d, 

Tbe Little «»"'"'" .'°'', .^"J" -be south- 
,Uch continue .be cha.u "^ ''^^ J,^ p„„,„ 
„est mainland, are con,parat,,d, sma 1^ ^ ^^ 
particulars respecting thetu wtU be 
course of this Excursion. , 

Tbe large and beautiful "1-^ «[ ^.^ '^Z. 
*'''''■*'• ';'"c:re'GuTf'r:;int.ndtbe 

::r::: :::e.X. «'« - -^ - - - 

'°';^::l:?s:r:tH„ron are clear and trans- 

< SO full of carbonic acid gas that tney i 

.< and consequently having no P-P^^;^'^^^^ 
. Llid matters in suspension, an on of 
» heat occurs." Dr. Drake ascertained th t m 
sumLr, at the surface, and 200 feet below U. the 

temperature of the water was 56 • 
.. One of the most curious thing. t 

«' lacune mountains, and to lee giu j 

«« tintless is the water. So tar, anu p r 
far, Dr. Drake. 


The rivers of 


.ake Huron are not very numer- 
ous ; but it has five, as large, or larger, than its 
outlet, St. Clairj They are the Severn, French, 
Spanish, Misslsspga, and the Straits of St. Mary, 
all on the barrenj northern coast. Of the outlet I 
shall speak in thje proper place. 

The evaporation must be enormous, but 1 am 
not aware of ajny estimate of it having been 

The reader must need be patient while voyaging 
with us along the chill and stormy shores of North 
Huron. If hard! to read, it was harder far to en- 
dure; but the gi-eat Maker of all things did not 
disdain to fashiiSn them, and here and there to 
add an ornamentj. 

Soon after ourj entrance into this lake our extra 
provisions failed, and we were content with cocoa, 
brown sugar, and! biscuit, night and morning; salt 
beef and potatoes for dinner. Our hardy boatmen 
had their usual Indian country fare, maize-soup 
thrice a-day, witfc a glass of whisky after unusual 
exertions, or in c^ld weather. 

When we issued from the picturesque Notawa- 
saga we found ourselves at the bottom of a vast 
circular bay, fifty or sixty miles round. 

Stormy as thq weather very soon afterwards 
proved, the mohiing of that day was serene. 
Everything, lake, sands, and foliage, sparkled 



under the rays of a burning sun, and looked soft 
and innocent. In front the eye ranged over 
waters apparently without a shore, upon whose 
bright surface the low smooth billows rolled in 
slow succession to the beach. On our left was a 
line of woods, having in their rear the " Blue 
Mountains," before referred to. On our right we 
had a line of broken heights, usually well tim- 
bered, as far as Twenty-mile Point and, the 
Christian Isles, grey and indistinct in the extreme 
north. ' 

A reperusal of my notes shows that the impres- 
sion made upon themiiid by this inland sea varies 
with the hour. At one time it is thus written :— 
" When the varied shores of these liquid wilder- 
" nesses have ceased to attract the eye, and their 
" vastness to interest the imagination, all sense of 
" pleasure is lost in that of gloom and solitude, 
" and in the remembrance of their storms." At 
another time it is said, " that I am affected even to 
" tears to think that I never again shall seek the 
" rare insect or fossil, or greet the friendly savage, 
" among the shadowy isles, the purple mountains, 
" and broad waters of Lake Huron." 

Proceeding northwards from the river, we ar- 
rived in due time at the north angle of Notawa- 
saga Bay, and passed the three Christian Islands, 
once a missionary station of the Roman Catholics. 



They are from one to three miles long each, the 
nearest to the main being three miles distant. 
They are covered with fine forests. 

Four miles and a half further brought us to 
the Giant's Topb,* an oval island three miles 
long. It is a landmark for great distances, from 
its resemblance to a lofty cairn, and thence its 
name. It is a high mass of limestone, flat-topped, 
surrounded by a belt of low land; the whole 
island, except where there is too much sand, 
clothed with fine trees. 

I was much struck with the state of its shores; 
that on the north was scraped clean to the rock 
by the waves, wlhich wash the very roots of the 
underwood ; the east beach is wholly of fine sand, 
and the south ^nd west sides of the island are 
covered with vast accumulations of rolled blocks 
only, of great sije, and among others, of Labrador 
feldspar, which exists some miles to the north- 
west as a living rock. The ice of winter may 
have partly done this, and dropped its burthens 
in places of repope. 

We now crossed to a naked islet on the direct 
way to the Nort^ Main, holding Gloucester Bay 
6n the east. 

Gloucester Bay is large, and very irregular in 
. I ■ 

* In 1823 there wai no magnetic variation at the Giant's Tomb, 





its outline.* Its lower end takes the name of 
Matchedash, and receives the river Severn of Lake 

From this point (tfee barren gneis islel), a sud- 
den change of scenery took place. The deep 
waters, regular outlines, and fertility of the main 
(based on limestone before) ceased. The intricate 
region of islets, of reefs, and marshes, began. 

The view from hence, our dining-place (where 
my compass would not traverse), is very fine. The 
capacious mouth of Gloucester Bay, partly barred 
by islands, is on the east, bounded by high woods 
and headlands. Looking south, past the lofty 
Giant's Tomb, partly hiding the Christian Isles, 
we. see the successive capes we had just skirted. 
Northerly, we beheld the thousand rocks of the 
north shore, backed by ranges of pine fores'ts. 

We now made directly north, and encamped for 
the night on the slippery top of a mound of gra- 
nite, twenty feet high, some little distance from 
Rennie's Bay (so named by Captain Bayfield). 
Whether we were really on the main or not, I 

* Only a few miles from our crossing-place, at the bottom of a 
very narrow inlet in Gloucester Bay, is the naval and military sta- 
tion of Penetanguishene, one of those dismal places in which the 
British soldier has so often to vegeUte, cut off from the whole 
world. The winters spent by the officers in low wooden cabins are 
severe, and tedious beyond measure. Being placed on a narrow 
isthmus, the station can be attacked front and rear. 





cannot tell. We were among a labyrinth of dough- 
shaped mounds, rushy marshes, and thin groves 
of stunted cedar, birch, alder, and red oak. We 
could not see .500 yards into the interior. 

Our tent was Only secured by laying poles loaded 
with stones along the bottom of the canvas. 

The evening had been lowering, but afterwards 
became partially clear and starry. I left the tent 
at about eleven o'clock, and was much struck by 
the picture befofe and around me. 

Our men werje asleep at the fire— all, save the 
cook on duty, who was feeding it with wood, and 
stirring the soupi The cool wind was shaking the 
birch trees, and the waves were whispering and 
rippling among the reefs below. Looking towards 
the head of Gloucester Bay I saw several solitary 
red lights wandering over the surface of the lake, 
which lay here and there in shadow. These were 
the canoe-torches of Indians spearing the fish 
attracted by the flame. When they chanced to 
draw near, the flare of the light, and the frequent 
streams of cinde^-s dropping into the water red- 
hot, were reflected beautifully on the dark men 
and their craft. 

After a time I went and sat on a stone by the 
side of the cooki and watched his stirrings and 


" Monsieur le 

Docteur," said he, breaking si- 



lence, " these vile rocks and morasses remind me 
» of a mishap of mine long ago in the Indian 
'« countries, which would have put an end to me, 
" ' id bus; had it not been for a tin-pot and a 
" gull's nest— things very simple. Monsieur le 

" Docteur." I 

"Our bourgeois (master) took me and an Indian 
" to look out for a new beaver district on the Black 
" River, which runs into the Mackenzie. 

" Two days from the Fort, while crossing a 
" pond, I saw a gull's nest, with four little gaping 
" chicks in it, on a bare rock. I had lifted up 
" my foot to kick the whole hatch into the water, 
" according to our notion, that if you kill a bird, 
" a deer, or what not, ten will come instead, when 
" the bourgeois forbade me. 

" Well, one day, three weeks afterwards, our 
" canoe capsized in a rapid, and we lost all — every 
" thin"-, except a tin-pot, which stuck in one of 
" its ribs. ' Of course we turned back, and lived 
" on dead fish, green bilberries, now and then a 
" young bird, tripe de roche, and Labrador tea, 
" which fortunately our pot enabled us to boil. 

" The cold winds seemed to cut us asunder, and 
" swept through our very marrow, for we lost 
" most of our clothes too. 

" When we were near spent by many days' weary 
«' travel, the bourgeois told us that if we would 



• <-". feari ; 4 tad"""* ":* '■^'' ">" «»-. 

-.e« daj we felll ,„ „ ,,' '""^ °"- '"'"■ The 
" ">« be,. p„l4. . i' '*«P"»l'i, .ha, ,„„ey is 

'«*n;"™ 767'"'^ « •-'«" «.' .he old 
o post ot B(^uras8a. Tlip h..^i ■ 

"orth shore, ,hir., „,l|,. i '."''* '"'ervening 

""'•""dine, bel. sever., ' ,■, 1 ' "'°' "''"' » 
O' lolerabl,.„„„<,J ,;, ' , " ''*' '=«'«l. «f rock v 


'™>'e as ,„ haffle 1^,. """""•""» and in. 

-- '.-ass: 'tret'T"'^ ''»''- 
««re,„ e^":;';-;''-f-e..<.a. 

.4 ^ ^^' "''^'ch is hououred 





by the name of Franklin, east of Parry's Sound, 
choked with reedy islets and half-drowned cran- 
berry grounds.* i 

This happened towards evening. It tpas then 
blowing a hurricane in the open lake, where in 
our boat we did not like to venture. We accord- 
ingly crept along under the lee of this and that 
islet; but although our guide had been on this 
coast several times, his memory failed him ; and 
we were compelled to encamp, after many weary 
attempts to find our way. 

We were on the outskirts of the island groups. 
I shall never forget the hoarse raging of the 
storm, mingled with the whistle of the bowed 
reed-beds — so different from the crisped smiles 
of yesterday. We were glad to pitch our little 
tent in a tolerably dry hole under a bush, fasten- 
ing it down with double care, and covering it 
with a few pine-branches to make it warmer; 
for the low, exposed islet, gave us little shelter 
from the resistless wind. But when once en- 
sconced within our ingenious defences, it was 

• The cranberry grows in shallows, composed of smooth primi- 
tive mounds, five yards square, scarcely above water, stagnant 
ponds full of varied vegetation. Both plant and fruit lie low. The 

Huron cranberry is far finer than any I ever tasted elsewhere 

high-flavoured, full of juice, skin very thin, and of the size of a 
boy's marble. I boiled up with sugar a good many in October, 
and found them a delicious addition to our suppers. 


right sweet 
poet, — 

All the next 
risk we mio-ht 



remember the line of the old 

" Quam ju^at immites ventos andire cubantem ! " 

t day we lay wind-bound. At some 
„ pave proceeded on the open lake • 
but .was no. thought prudent to expose «„; 
valuable mstrur^ents to chance of damage 

books' '""'^"'' "'""'^''' ^''^"'"^ ^h^- fi«ld- 

abo"!; loV'^' t '" "'■"' '""^^' -^ - -- 
small black object a mile off, in the open and 
snll rough lak. We hoisted a handkerchtf 
"Pon a pole, w.en the object drew near, and 
proved to be a4,d Indian woman (or witch), in 

(with the w,nd, he U remembered), her grey hair 
and brown tatters streaming before hfr.'our 
interpreter explained our situation. She pro 
-sed that her ons should pilot us the n'ext 
-ornmg mto a k own part of the lake, joyfully 
-allowed a glasslofwhisky, and departed "^ 

follow their leading 

Towards the majnland was a basin a mile wide, 
shut up apparently by tall reeds and islets. This 



they crossed, breaking through the reeds, and 
an interval between rocks not more than three or 
four yards wide, and in like manner traversed 
basin after basin, with surfaces as unruffled and 
fair as the open lake was rough and dark. 

The Indians now made for a small round island 
in one of these glassy pools, which was belted 
round by tall aspen and birch. We landed near 
a canoe drawn high and dry on shore, and 
mounting, a woody bank we saw before us, to 
our astonishment, a small oval meadow,- in the 
centre of which was an Indian camp of five wig- 
wams, warm and still within the thick screen of 
leaves. Men, women, children, and dogs were 
all about— the men mending nets, the women 
pounding corn, and the children in busy play 
until the pale-faces appeared. 

I was delighted with the well-fed, good- 
humoured looks of these red men ; and I made 
favourable comparisons between them and the 
Glasgow weavers. i 

They had managed better than us during the 
last few days-ourselves for shelter embracing a 
naked rock, they housed in a warm, grassy isle. 

" There's a blossom for the bee ; 
The bittern has its brake ; 
The Indian too his hiding.pkce. 

When the storm is on the lake." 
: VOL. II, 

«. < 

'% I 



The highest compliment that an Indian can 
pay to a wh^te man is, that he is almost as wise as 
one of thenjselves— but this comes not nntil after 
an apprenticeship of twenty years. 

Having pre-paid our pilots, and bought some 
fish, we left^ After going some three or four 
miles, our Own guide began to espy well-known 
landmarks, and our new friends took their leave. 

The Bouijassa Post is on an island in Parry's 
Sound, and consisted, in 1823, of two long, low, 
■barn-like hftts, among sand-hills, mounds, and 

Parry's Sbund is a magnificent sheet of water, 
ten or twelv^ miles broad, and as many in length' 
containing dne very large island, and a countless 
number of sjnall ones. The River Seguine enters 
at its bottoi^. Captain Bayfield found parts of 
this sound 390 feet deep. 

The scenery is truly beautiful. Fir-clad hills 
all around— rocky islets and open basins. We 
made the circuit of it close in shore. 

Twenty m^es north-west from hence we passed 
in the offing the fur-trading post of La Ronde* 

* The district of La Ronde (skty-five miles from Penetangui- 
shene, according ko Mr. Donovan, a respectable Indian trader), so 
unpromising and desolate, contains a rock formation of great 
beauty andi^rityi 

Some little distance into the lake, one or two miles outside the 
nearer belt of islands, is a cluster (the Indian Isles, perhaps, of 



(near the Shamenega River), a melancholy, 
looking log-house, with a cluster of out-houses, 
sunk for protection behind some sand-heaps^nd 

Other traders have wintering-houses in this 
neighbourhood, on the west side of a low pro- 
montory, from ten to thirteen miles long. Not far 
from its bottom there is a very narrow inlet, 
which runs east two miles or more, and then' 
receives the Muskokony River. 

La Ronde is seventy-two miles south-east of 
the French River. i 

The features of this long interval are of the 
same intricate nature as in that from the Giant's 
Tomb — as full of headlands and deep inlets of 
marshes and rocky lagoons. 

But the islets are usually lower, smaller, and 
more naked ; and they advance further out into the 
lake, as solitary mounds, hardly emerging above 

Bayfield), not very close together, of piny islets, whoUy composed, 
I beheve, of Labrador feldspar, - one of the most beautiful of 
known rocks; and which, as is well known, when polished or 
merely wetted, assumes a beautiful iridescence. This mineral is 
rarely found in situ. I might not have noticed it ; but the heavy 
ram which occurred as we were rowing by brought out the play 
of pnsmatic colours. It is met with at Arendhal, in Norway The 
district appeared to be five miles long, and is, I suspect, Mrrow • 
as, on my return in the autumn, being obliged by stormy weather 
to keep close in shore, I did not see it, although I looked for it. 
I brought away specimens. 


I , 



•water. Beirg often in line south-westwards, tliey 
look at a distance like a shoal of porpoises. 

There is little use in minutely describing these 
monotonous wastes. They are so extensive and 
uniform, thaj; I think none but a practised Indian 
could ever find again any given spot — that is, 
without a Urge map. Captain Bayfield, R. N. 
and Mr, C(|llins have been employed several 
years in the survey of these and other parts of 
Lake HuronJ Their maps are on a large scale. 

We passeq along this coast in stormy weather, 
and had to ajyail ourselves of the least shelter in 
endeavouring to make progress. The open lake 
was often everywhere white with breakers, and 
therefore not navigable by us. We crept along 
inside a succession of sea-walls or breakwaters of 
low rocks, a! few feet broad, but each a mile or 
more long, and such as twenty millions sterling 
could not build. 

While passing through this archipelago, we 
seldom saw tjie main ; but one fine day (on our 
return) we sjtood out into the lake, some miles 
east of the I^rench River, and saw a considerable 
way into the linterior, 

Ifwas an extensive flat covered with pines. 
It is known that some miles further north the 
country becpmes a fertile table land, 750 feet 
above the levlel of Lake Huron. 





By way of showing the shifts we were put to 
in the regions north-west of Parry's Sound, I 
may mention that, after travelling all day, 
drenclied with rain, we could not on one occasion 
find a dry place to rest in, and had great diffi- 
culty in lighting a fire. From the summits of 
the mounds we should have been blown away, 
and their sides were too slippery ; so we pitched 
the tent over a little watercourse created by the 
rain. We floored it 'with rough poles cut from 
the young trees adjacent, and covered them with 
tarpaulin. On this we laid our little blanket- 
beds. While staying here wind-bound for forty- 
eight hours, we heard night and day the ripple 
of the streamlet beneath our feet. 

While in this comfortless abode, our astro- 
nomer told me that about twenty years a«»-o a 
continued and heavy rain occurred about latitude 
50° in the Rocky Mountains. The rills and 
ditches became rivers, the rivers floods and seas. 
All the low grounds were inundated. The In- 
dians Were in great alarm, and thought a second 
deluge was coming, until one evening a rainbow 
appeared, which quite appeased them. They call 
it "the mark of life," or " the sun-strings." 

The weather took up when we crossed French 
River Bay. This bay is three miles broad and 
two miles and a half deep. Its form is regular. 





themselves, from ten to 

the shores low, but hi^h woody ridges present 

fifteen miles in the rear. 

Point Grondines, the riame of the west angle of 
the bay, is a mile and a half from the river. It is a 
headland 1500 yards across. Not far hence there 
is a group of Indian drawings on a smooth clifi^. 

The north coast of Lake Huron, from a few 
miles east of French I^iver, runs a little north 
of west. It had run north-north-west; and I 
remarked that a series of high hills which, at 
the mouth of the French River, was proceeding 
westwards to join the l»ke very obliquely, began, 
in ten or twelve milesj to form its actual margin 
in slopes and ridges : and it may be said, once for 
all, that ridge after ridge in succession, in like 
manner, strike the lake shore nearly to the Falls 
of St. Mary. I 

From Point Grondinles to the Fox Islands is a 
distance of twelve miiles, principally along an 
Open basin. 

The Fox Islands are in thinly-scattered doughy 
mounds, piled one upon another to 100 or 120 
feet, and barren, save a few pines. They are six 
miles and a half south of Collins' Sound. 

The views among the Fox Islands are very 
picturesque. Twenty or more grotesque high 
islands of rocks and pines are scattered over a 
broad expanse of lake. On the north-west is a 



magnificent circular bay, surrounded by moun- 
tains whose base the waters almost bathe. On 
the south-west, the long blue line of the Grand 
Manitou is seen passing east and west —grand, 
indeed, from its height and dimensions. Collins' 
Sound is full of fine scenery. It is fourteen or 
fifteen miles broad, and, together with a multi- 
tude of smaller islands, has one which is very lon^, 
and so narrow in parts, that, being compelled by 
boisterous weather in autumn to take the inner 
route between this isle and the mainland, we 
frequently heard the plash and roar of the waves 
outside. I 

This strait is called La Morandi^re, from hav- 
ing been long the residence of an Indian trader 
of that name. 

Half a mile from a ruined fort is Point 
Colles,* a low platform of horizontal rocks, jut- 
ting a little into the water, and chiefly to be 
noticed as being the site of observations for longi- 
tude and latitude, made by order of the Boun- 
dary Commission. Near it is an excellent land- 
mark — a white rock, 350 feet high, rising out 
of a dense forest. | ' 

From the Fox Islands and the contiguous shore 

• Point CoUes, Latitude 45° 46' 26" Longitude 81^ 43' 0" 
HQl Island, Latitude 46 5 Longitude 82 4 18 
according to the astronomers of the Boundaiy Commission. 




at these separate visits 
the hills of the main 
nences of snow-white c 

the scenery of the lake for thirty miles westwards 
makes a sudden change. The dreary cranberry 
marshes, their reeds an^ mounds, are replaced by 
the lofty and well-wooded district of La Cloche. 

It has been left fof Captain Bayfield to lay 
down these bewildering regions with accuracy in 
charts ; and it has been the work of years. 

For my part I only say, that, from the Strait 
of La Morandiere I have passed three times 
westward, through an apparently endless suc- 
cession of basins of fr^e water (only recognising 
1 a few great features), with 
on the north — steep emi- 
] uartz, from 500 to 700 feet 
high ; and on the south the high slopes and ter- 
races of the Grand M&nitouline — almost always 
a prominent object in Lake Huron. The few 
islands in the interspaces are of limestone, pre- 
cipitous and pine-clad. Captain Bayfield's sailors 
ascended one of these hills, and I took rock spe- 
cimens from another, one-third of. the way to its 
top. We dined at its ^oot. 

In two places in this neighbourhood, at Cape 
Peter (the north-west angle of Smyth's Bay), and 
af the large compact island of La Cloche, the 
entrance into the nOrth-west arm or wing of 
Lake Huron is almo$t blocked up by the near 
approach to each other of certain capes of the 




Manitouline and the main. At Cape Peter the 
barrage is assisted by islets ; and at La Cloche, 
that island is itself the principal interposed mass. 
The strait between it and the Manitouline is only 
a few hundred yards wide ; and even part of this 
is taken up with an islet. It has been passed 
through by my deceased friend, Lieutenant Grant, 
in the schooner Confiance. The strait on the 
side of the mainland is very narrow also ; the 
headland from the north being many miles long, 
and very indented. 

We find Hill Island on the west, and within a 
few miles of this headland. From a high hill on 
the main opposite this island, ascended by the 
crew of the Confiance, the interior appeared level 
and covered with pines. 

The island of La Cloche* is high, compact in 
shape, and of considerable size. It is uninhabited 
except by Indians occasionally. | 

It has some extensive platforms of limestone 
about it, nearly of the same level as the lake, on 
which I met with some curious fossils. 

We encamped on a low islet for the night, near 
La Cloche. Its rocks were very full of crevices, 

* It is go called from some of its rocks ringing like a bell on being 
struck. This particularly applies to one loose basedtic mass lying 
on the shore, fifteen miles below the little Sagamuc, and about 
three yards square. 





which harboured so many long brown snakes 
(five out of one hole), thjat it was not until we had 
killed some, and frightened away the remainder, 
that we ventured to go to rest. 

The same night I had another little fright 
here. Sitting round 3. fire at our supper of 
cocoa, nearly in the darkj, just as I was discussing 
a biscuit rather harder than usual, I happened to 
turn round, when, behold, a tall figure was sta- 
tioned on a ledge a little above us, in a strange 
robe, and holding a long staff in his hand. I 
nudged my neighbour. After a moment or two's 

delay, he called out to it, 

"Nidge "("Friend," in 

Indian). He was an Indian, and then joined us 
with his usual noiseless tread. He had seen our 
fire, and had come in hopes of biscuit and perhaps 
a glass of spirits. Unusual as it is among Indians, 
he stood waiting for an irivitation to join us. 

Near the island of La Cloche, on the margin 
of the lake, almost hidden by young trees, we 
met with the ruins of a small French fort, at 
that time only ten feet high, and built a hundred 
years ago of very large slabs of limestone, for a 
defence against the Indians. 

I can only speak of the district of La Cloche in 
general terms. 

,^The traveller, from the unsightly north-east 
shorerrcniTES-welL T2r£iiaE«t to be charmed with 



it. No part of the great Canadian lakes can be 
compared with this portion of Lake Huron, as far 
as my personal experience goes. All at once we 
find ourselves sailing over calm and clear waters, 
amid clustering isles of all sizes, some with high 
cliffs, some lying low, all wooded, and skirting°a 
lofty mainland. 

Here and there we pass by little grassy valleys, 
park-like, with clumps of trees and umbrageous 
avenues, as if leading to some deserted man^sion. 
The especial beauty of these places very much 
arises from deep shadows, and the harmonious 
tints of the vegetation — from the vivid whiteness 
of the bald quartz hills, and the quick alternation 
of open and close scenery. During long journeys 
on important business we cannot sketch where 
we most desire to do so. Thus was it here. 

So extensive and perplexing is this region of 
wood, rock, and water, that although some of us 
were no strangers here, still, by taking a northern 
direction at the west end of the great sheet of 
water, either called or near to Le Foret des Bois,* 
instead of the proper course, we deviated into a 
large archipelago of romantic beauty. This error 
cost us five hours' hard labour. j 

This style of country, exceeding twenty-five 
miles in length, terminates westwards a few miles 
* North-east of the island of La Cloche. 




before we reach Little Sagaumc River, the imme- 
diate north shore now becoming lower, and the 
well-known belt of dmall islets in-shore being 
resumed to some extent, while, midway between 
the main and the Gi-and Manitouline (plainly 
seen), are eight large and woody isles, in little 
groups, spread over the open lake. 

The Little Sagamuc enters at the bottom of a 
shallow bay, under tfie protection of a belt of 
trap islands. It is f^rty feet wide, and at the 

distance of 600 yards 
tated obliquely over 

from its mouth is precipi- 
a rock, twenty feet high, 
buried in woods, and with a very respectable 
share of foam, fury, &c. It is the outlet of a 
small lake one mile o^. 

An Indian trader, of the name of M'Bean, has 
been here many years! and has given his name to 
j» the spot. 

On a grassy flat, at! the mouth of Little Saga- 
muc, we found some Indian wigwams, resting in 
unbroken stillness. The young men were lying 
lazily about, and the wl)men busy, as their wont is ; 
the younger having jheir usual good-humoured, 
chubby faces, their inusical voices pouring out 
multitudinous criticises upon our mannea-s and 

I ran to gather a specimen of the rock at the 
■waterfall, but such a flock of capering imps 




attended me that I could scarce perform my 

I have reason to believe that the Ojibbeway 
Indians, lately in England, came from this neigh- 
bourhood. They were Wesleyan Protestants, 
and did honour to their profession. There has 
been a small Wesleyan mission hereabouts. 

Near this, to the west, are the rivers Le Ser- 
pent and Sand. They are small ; but the latter 
is used to reach Lake Nipissing. 

Ten or twelve miles along a hilly mainshore 
brings us to Spanish Bay, Aird's Bay, or the Bay 
of Sagamuc. We passed across its mouth, which 
is many miles wide, and defended by a long line 
of woody islands, the largest of which is called 
Aird's. The inner shores of Aird's Bay are alto- 
gether out of sight, but we saw that its west side 
ran northerly, in a series of lofty and partially- 
wooded bluflPs. No map, except the little-known 
one of Captain Bayfield, gives any idea of this 
large bay. 

That ofiicer told me that it is very large, and 
receives the finest river of Lake Huron, excepting 
St. Mary's (from Lake Superior). 

The Spanish or Sagamuc River is navigable 
for boats, without a portage, for thirty-five miles, 
along a channel averaging 120 yards in breadth, 
with frequent rapids, some from four to six miles 





an hour at narrows. The small lakes into which 
the Sagamuc occasionally expands are full of 
islets. One of these expanses is called Birchbark 
Lake. Navigation is stopped by a fall thirty feet" 
high, passing over a shiping greenstone. This 
river communicates witlj Lake Tematscaming. 
The name of " Spanish" is given to it from its 
having been once occupied by Spanish Indians, 
as I have heard. It has two mouths. 

About forty-two miles west from the Little 
Sagamuc is the River Missassaga, Spanish Bay 
in this interval. These forty-two 
a chain of beautiful and 


miles are distributed into 

large basins by suecessivte sets of islands, those 
near the main being of primitive rock, small, 
various in height (from ^0 to 200 feet), and so 
surrounded by shallows and reefs as to make 
passing even in boats difificult. 

We kept close to the ifnain shore, and found it 
well wooded. In the ev^ing many of the trees 
■were enveloped and surjmounted by myriads of 
flies, in a spiral pyramidal wreath, constantly 
rising and falling. At a distance they looked 
like a thin smoke. The same may be seen occa- 
sionally in Eugland. 

The Missassaga is a ine river, and has two 
entrances, one on each side of a marshy tongue 
of land 1400 yards across. 


The eastern mouth is the largest, and is 120 
yards broad, according to Captain Bayfield ; and 
enters the lake in a flat beach, sandy and rocky 
in places. The falls first met with pass over red 

In 1848, Mr. Logan, the provincial geologist, 
ascended this river for forty miles, one of its tri- 
butaries for seven miles, and another for four; 
as well as two lakes on the Grand Batture 

On another occasion I ascended, with a fur- 
trader, for five or six miles, to a North-west 
Company Station, a river of good breadth at the 
mouth, and widening within, flowing from the 
interior among large meadows and pineries, into 
the lake, and this two miles east of the best- 
known entrance. The Rhine, among the reedy 
pastures below Sfrasburg, reminded me of the 
River Missassaga. We encamped, on this occa- 
sion, for the night, on the river side among 
willows and long dry grass; but the latter took 
fire, and would have burnt us up, if we had not 
instantly and vigorously beaf it out with large 

In what may be called the Missassaga District, 
while the edge of the lake is marshy, we have, in 
the interior, a range of tolerably high hills running 
parallel to the lake shore. 




The space between Missassaga, and the Point, 
and River, Thessalpn (twenty-eight miles along 
the north shore), ik a series of shallow, marshy 
curvatures, so excessively encumbered with erratic 
blocks,* that landing is somewhat difficult, espe- 
cially seventeen miles west of Missassaga. 

Along shore we Uve more sandy beaches than 
usual, extending aj good way into the low and 
sterile neighbourhood, overgrown with wild vines, 
and cherries, and dwarf pines. 

Scarps of basalt and round-backed mounds, 
solitary rocks, with glazed surfaces, are sprinkled 
over our route, bijt not in the profusion we find 
east of the French River. 

Point Thessalon ts a narrow strip of low, wooded 
land, faced with bowlders and sand, a mile long 

on its east side. 

on lis ea».. -u.. A single tree at the point, in 
advance of all itj brethren, marks the locality 
well. This was ihe north-eastern limit of the 
Boundary CommiBsion's Survey in Lake Huron. 
It is in this neighUurhood that many orthocera, 
five and six feet long, have been seen, but not 
removed on account of their weight and size. 

Thessalon Bay (of which the point just men- 
tioned forms the vrest angle) is three miles across 
and one deep. It is principally sand-bank, co- 

* Among these are masses of beautiful jasper puddingstone ; 
also seen by Captsun Bayfield. 





vered with drift-wood. At its bottom the River 
Thessalon pushes through rugged eminences of 
trap. It is thirty or forty yards broad at its 
mouth, and is bordered by willows and other 
trees. Its size upwards I do not know ; but 
Mr. Logan says, that he met with four falls on it. 
13, J 8, 8, and 3 feet respectively, affording ex- 
cellent mill-seats. Some of the land in the valley, 
he says, is well fitted for cultivation. | 

The whole region, extending from the River 
Missassaga, in this lake, to the River Montreal 
in Lake Superior, in a north-west direction, will 
eventually be covered with a numerous mining 
jjopulation. . | 

Within the last few years (1849) large deposits 
of copper ore have been met with at the extre- 
mities of the line just indicated. 

Considerable grants have been made by Go- 
vernment for mining purposes, after an official 
survey by the Colonial geologist, whose last 
Report (made in January 1849) furnishes the 
following particulars :— 

Twenty-two mining locations are claimed of 
Government on the north shore M this lake, but 
the Bruce Mines, nine miles west of the Thes- 
salon River, are the farthest advanced and the 
best kuown. 

All the way from the Falls of St. Maiy to 







Sbenawenahning shows n^ore or less ind.V^r 
of copper. I ^ inoications 

«bout 118 tons of pu'e ' Z ' "^'^'"^ 

m September 1848 was th^t 1 , ^ ^^P^^'^tion 
fOtons of such or! IX .^"-"^'^^ield 
have already been s^t fn ^ '^' quantities 

One hundred andltv/^"'"'' ^"' ^^^^°- 
ployed at these mine th r' '"'^"^ "^''^ «°»- 


Ihree frame-buildincrs thWtr, i ,. 
*- wharfs, had beenfe:e;t d ^T"' ^"' 
good and timber abunLnt '''•''^"'- ^^^ 

The rocks which Compose the Rr ... 
are greenstone, ^ranite^ • """^ ^^"^^ 

-th its associ;te^sat anr''V""^^^'"^^^^^' 

general strike (and Lr r^r ' '°''^' ^^««e 


fore west-north-west. ' "'^ *'*«''e- 

The productiveness of the lodp« ^-ff 
^« ^he rock they trave^ le " """"'"^ 
greenstones.* ' ^ greatest in the 

«o«et^es associated with hem c? "'"'''• ^'°° Py^tes i, 
•f ^on «u, ^ekd, with a trace of t b^I "''"'"«««' «»lph«ret 


/ leet, and cut through all thp r« i 
The gangue, or veinstone, in which th " 

ores are contained, is in General wb> "^^''' 

^V-'th these facts before ot ' 1""^" 
this part of North a1 • '' ''^^^"* ^''^t 

'■ very important t is T'"" " ^'"" *« ^--e 

deaf '" ''-"™'«' f™- ^---in, .ot 

Of the interval between Po.'nf Tk , 
the Channel of Pelletan KM '''"° ""^' 

know little wf . ^ " ''^ ^'"J«' a« I 

whicheatdusr r'''^'^""^^^^"'^• 
from La Cliche "^ ''' ^'^^^"^^ «" the way 

Drummond Island, and the other M^n". ,• 
are n si<^ht hl.,» r ^ • ^^Jamtouhnes, 

«' kand. I „ev!-,a7d r""'"'""""^"-- 

"ever Janded here anrJ »i,« i> 
perhaps mis<sp,I o • ' therefore 

-•-:,;;;:r:;ri,:r ■-- - '^» «- 

Of gale:; a^nZjU'c^"""^ ' "*' '^''^ ^"""^^ ^^"^-ts bcth 






Shenawenahning shows more or less indications 
of copper. I 

The copper 'ore and undressed stuff at the 
Bruce Mines, in July 1848, was 1475 tons, giving 
about 118 tons of pure copper. The expectation 
in September 1848 was, that the lodes would yield 
250 tons of sucjh ore monthly. Large quantities 
have already been sent to Montreal and Boston. 

One hundred and sixty-three persons were em- 
ployed at these mines, which, with their families, 
gave a population of 250 souls. 

Three frame-buildings, thirty log-houses, and 
two wharfs, ha^ been erected. The harbour was 
good and timber abundant. 

The rocks ^hich compose the Brace Mines 
are greenstone^ granites, sienitic conglomerate, 
with its associate slate and quartz rock, whose 
general strike (and that of the lodes) roughly 
coincides with the trend of the coast, and there- 
fore west-northrwest. 

The productiveness of the lodes differs according 
to the rock they traverse, being greatest in the 

* Copper is the most plentiful metal, in the form of vitreons 
copper, variegated copper, and copper pyrites. Iron pyrites is 
sometimes associated with them. Copper pyrites, in one instance, 
was accompanied by rutile, and in another by arsenuretted sulphoret 
•f iron and nickd. ^th a trace of cobalt. 

The lodes vary in breadth from a few inches 
to thirty feet, and cut through all the rocks. 
The gangue, or veinstone, in which the copper 
ores are contained, is in general white quartz. 

With these facts before us, it is evident that 
this part of North America is about to become 
very important. It is also not a little remarkable 
that our stock of the metals is receiving in- 
crease in proportion to the increased demand, 
from augmented population and a more ex- 
tended application of them to the uses of life. 
Copper is thus prevented from becoming too 

Of the interval between Point Thessalon and 
the Channel of Pelletau I shall say little, as I 
know little. We sailed at a distance off land, 
which enabled us to see the successive ranges of 
hills inland, which we had observed all the way 
from La Cloche. 

Drummond Island, and the other Manitoulines, 
are in sight, blue from their remoteness ; while 
the fine island of St. Joseph is comparatively near 
at hand. I never landed here, and therefore 
perhaps, missed seeing some traces of the fine 
mineral region on the main.* 

* Not far west of Missassaga I met with small fragments bcth 
of galena and copper ore. 





Channel is so named from a Cana- 
dian who lo]ig cultivated some rich land on an 
island at its cast end. It is included between the 
north-east shore of St. Joseph and the contiguous 
main. Except towards the west end, the channel 
is an unobstitucted sheet of water, ten or twelve 
miles long, a|id six broad at the east extremity, 
but narrowing to a mile and a half in the west. 

The two sjdes of this channel present very 
different aspects. St. Joseph is a gentle, verdant 
acclivity, while the north main is a region of half- 
naked black fastnesses, of trap mounds, swamps, 
ponds, and ridges. 

Near its w^st end, Pelletau's Channel widens 
into an expaJnse twenty-five miles square, and 
becomes full pf islands ; one of which is of some 
, rather high and woody.* It nearly 

size, compact. 

* This island has great sylvan beauty. It is in such spots that 
the Indian makes his home. I think that, unlike the native 
whites of his country, he has much feeling for the picturesque. 
His mmd is full of metaphor and grand idealities. 

On the former vpyage in a light canoe with M. de Rocheblave. 
we had been working our way quietly among the solitudes of the 
north shore, when we approached this island. We rounded a 
woody point, and Suddenly beheld a hundred half-naked Indians 
hotly engaged at their game of bail in a meadow which ran down 
to the water side— their wigwams being under the lee of a steep 
and their kinsfolk looking on in groups. 

Two parties were contending with infinite heat and clamour to 
dnve a little ball in opposite ways, each to his own goal, casting it 



blocks up the Narrows (as they are called) at 
their east entrance. 

Two other considerable, nearly naked islands, 
are close to the main, with which they form an' 
admirable harbour, at one time intended for a 
military station, under the name of Portlock 
Harbour. (Vide Plate.) It has some very pretty 
scenery. While in Pelletau's Channel,' as you 
approach this harbour, at the distance of a mile 
or two, there is perceived an opening or break in 

far and high in the air, with long sticks, which had a kind of open 
cup or ring at the lower end. 

Immediately we appeared there was a loud scream of joy and 
suTJme The game ceased. The Indians rushed to their guns, 
and filled the air with harmless musketry in our honour 

Canoes forthwith pushed off to us. The north-west trader 
knew his sad duty. 

"Hand out the rum-keg," said he; "give me a couple of 
quart measures." He half-filled them, secretly, with lake-water 
f^om the offside of the calioe, and then ostentatiously poured the 
coveted liquid into the cans. 

By this time the Indians had arrived. Warm greetings were 
^changed. The rum was presented :-but how to carry it ashore ' ~ 
Ihe trader could neither wait nor leave his cans. 

The savages were at their wits' end ; but at length one of them 
held out a round thing of felt which counted for a hat. Into it went 
the fire-water. But who shall paint their dismay, their antics, and 
howlmgs. when they saw the precious fluid distilling through the 
weU-wom felt in twenty tiny streams! The hat, however, was 
withdrawn from our canoe-many, many a h«.d beneath it. In 
the height of the hubbub, " Down paddle," said the trader; and 
we escape! In a few minutes woods, wigwams, and Indian sports 
were far behind, i~"^ 


) I 


a high country, expanding as it is neared, and 
finally disclosing an extensive haven, interspersed 
with rocky islets, or girt by heights, starting 
forth in a series of woody or rocky capes, — the 
whole subported in the rear by three ridges of 
hills covered with poplars, birch, and half-con- 
sumed pi^es. 

We hive now arrived in our tedious, but 
hitherto undescribed journey (at least, not care- 
fully), to the place where the north-west arm of 
Lake Huron, communicating with Lake Superior, 
begins to take shape. 

The southern mainland of Huron, having 
formed the great sound called Lake Michigan, is 
deflected in latitude 45° 53' nearly east, to longi- 
tude 83° 55', when suddenly trending northerly 
and westerly (opposite Drummond Island) it 
approaches the 7iorth main to within ten miles, 
in latitude 46° 20', and, with it, forms an oblong 
space, narrowing westwards, 400 square miles in 
extent, which receives the waters of Lake Su- 
pcior. I 

This space is crowded with islands, large and 
small ; the principal one being St. Joseph (sixty- 
five miles round), which, with the large " Sugar 
Island " (jthus named from its maple woods), is so 
wedged i\ato the lower end of the channel, or 
strait, frotn Lake Superior, as scarcely to give, at 



the narrowest points, the breadth of a mile to the 
sum of the four outlets from above. 

It is here that, strictly speaking. Lake Huron 
ceases (or rather begins), and where we find our- 
selves at the foot of a double set of narrows and 
currents. The first set (we proceed upwards) 
consists of three, — namely, those of the " Middle 
Passage," between Nibish Island and St. Joseph's, 
the Straits of Pelletau, and the basin below 
Encampment Douce (a rocky isle at the Nibish). 

The Middle Passage is eight or ten miles long, 
one mile broad above, and a quarter of a mile 
below, with a southerly run, and emptying into 
Muddy Lake. 

The Straits of Pelletau are formed by the ap- 
proach of St. Joseph to within two-thirds of a 
mile of the north main at their west end, and to 
within a mile and a half at th«>ir east end. 

The main here is a line of dark lofty cliffs, 
while the St. Joseph side is a marsh. Narrow as 
this strait is, it contains eighteen islets — those 
nearest the main partaking of its forbidding 
character; sometimes being divided from each 
other by mural rents, only a few feet across. As 
the islets approach St. Joseph they lower, and 
have marshy coves. The current is inconstant — 
sometimes strong. 



From the summit of) the adjoining main is pre- 
sented a truly scenic arid striking combination of 
high and sombre rocks, scantily clad with pine 
and overshadowing a labyrinth of waters. 

The current of the bisin runs among shallows 
on the north-west side of St. Joseph, at the foot 
of a still water, into ^hich some of the upper 
(Nibish) group of rapidi pour. 

This second or upper group of rapids and 
narrows forms the outlet of Lake Geo.-e. 

_ Tliis 

long by five in average 

is formed by Sugar or 

lake is eighteen miles 

breadth. Its west side 

"^ ».« uy ougar or 

George Island, which, tv^enty miles long, stretches 

from the Straits of St. Mary to within a mile of 

/ bt. Joseph. It is fertile^ but narrow. A shallow 

^ater, a mile broad, int(|rvenes between the main 

on the west and Sugar 

Island. At its foot, on 

- " • ■'»•' "a luui, on 

the south, we have Nil>ish Island, squeezed in 
between the main and St. Joseph. It is regular 
in shape, and ten miles by four and a half iu 

The boundary line undfer the sixth article ter- 
minates ,„ the Nibish (or Neebish) Channel, near 
Muddy Lake. The seve^tl^ article assigns Sugar 
Island to the United States. 

The rapids go under the general name of 
Nibish. They are three. Their names are,- 1st, 



the Eastern Nibish ; 2dly, the Middle ; and 3dly, 
the West Nibish rapid. Their position and size 
will be best seen on the map. 

The Middle Nibish rapid is the ship channel 
from De'troit to St. Mary's ; and even here the 
ship must be of very small draught, and is un- 
loaded to pass one particularly shallow spot.* 
A view is given of the encampment of the 
Boundary Commission, on a pretty isle at the 
foot of the Eastern Nibish. Passing through 
Lake George, we reach the river or strait of St. 
Mary, which connects Lake Superior with Lakes 
George and Huron. 

Almost the whole outlet (now loosely described, 
in reliance on the map) is of a soft and agreeable 
aspect, presenting expanses of transparent water, 
with curving shores of rich woods or successive 
headlands. Where the rapids occur we have reefs 
and accumulations of gravel or bowlders, with 
maple and birch forests, or short pine-clad preci- 
pices on either shore. | 

Where we enter St. Mary's Strait the view is 
very pleasing. i 

* The Nibish rapids are sometimes considered to be four : when 
the East Nibish (the ship channel to St. Mary's) is divided into 
two, and named the " LitUe and the East" They are separated 
by an island a mile or two long. 

Encampment Douce, of which a view U given, is at the foot of 
and to the west of, this island. ' 



As we pushed up thj sparkling current, our 
boat was surrounded b| numbers of white fish 
{Coreyonm albus)* whose exquisite flavour, 
especially when boiled, (is renowned over North 
America, and whose tjxport forms the staple 
employment at the neighbouring villages. 

We had scarcely seen| a human being for ten 
days, when all at once 4e came in sight of two 
villages, British and Anjerican, on their respec- 
tive sides of the river, and several canoes passing 
to and fro, or fishing. 

The river itself (sevenkeen miles long by half 

a mile to a mile and a 

quarter wide) is deep. 

Silent, broad : massive wriods overhang its banks. 
Directly before us, at the distance of two miles.f 
are the boiling rapids, called St. Mary's Falls. ' 

On the British, or lefi side of the river, an 
accdental conflagration 4as raging in the woods. 
Ihe horizon was considerably darkened by smoke- 
and every now and then a gleam of fire, faint in 
the distance, reached u^, newly fed by ^mt 
resinous trees. 

Anxious to see the devastating process, as soon 
as we landed at the Nor h-west Company's sta- 
tion I walked as far as I could into the burning 
woods. The fire was running about on the 

* It is allied to the salmoii family. 

t There is excellent clay for brick-making here. 



ground, wherever there was a sufiicidncy of dry 
matted grass or undergrowth of any kind. The 
tongues of fire crept up the hot pines, which were 
perspiring turpentine, and sometimes burst sud- 
denly into broad sheets of flame. The crackling, 
flare, and rapid combustion of leaves, branches, 
and grass, were all new to me, and grand ; but 
the smoke, driven about in gusts, was so loaded 
with acridity, that I was glad to escape with 
burnt shoes into a respirable air. When the fire 
reached any little plot occupied by diseased or 
old pines, whose boughs are always heavily 
loaded with Spanish moss, the whole started into 
an atmosphere of flame. This conflagration was 
considered small ; but it had embraced, from first 
to last, an area of several square miles. 

The sun^eying party of the Boundary Com- 
mission, with whom I was now travelling, passed 
rapidly through St. Mary's into Lake Superior. 
This journal ought to be continuous with their 
movements; but I beg the reader's permission to 
delay for aiittle our excursion into Lake Superior, 
in order to assemble in one chapter all our pro- 
ceedings in, and remarks upon, Lake Huron. 
We shall be glad enough to rejoin our friends. 
At the time of this visit St. Mary's was a very 
modest settlement. I imagine it remains so. 
The Canadian village is, or was, a straggling 


ST. Mary's. 

line of fifteen log-hutd on marshy ground, with, 
at its lower end, the comfortable dwelling of Mr! 
Ermatinger, whose daughter's acquaintance I 
had unexpectedly made on the western branch of 
the Ottawa. i 

The North-west Corjipany of fur-traders have 
an important post near the head of this village, 
close to the rapids, on the broad tongue of low- 
land full of little watercourses, which is the 

British portage. This 
resident's house, large 

post consists of a good 
storehouse, stables, la- 

bourers' dwellings, garden, fields, and a jetty for 
their schooner. The cattle were in a remarkably 
good condition. 

The American village is but small: it has, 
however, two or three houses of a better class, 
and is on higher ground, with a few Indian 
wigwams interspersed. 

The Americans have a stout barrack here, called 
Fort Brady, and two companies of infantry, 

Mr. Johnson, a much-trespected Indian trader, 
lives here most hospitably in a house, whose neat- 
ness is in striking contrast with the careless dila- 
pidation reigning around. 

A few potatoes and some Indian corn are raised 
on either side of the riijer, and there is a little 
pasture land 

Mr. Ermatinger built a windmill, in a vain 




attempt to induce the people to grow wheat. It 
IS said that the cold mists and draughts from Lake 
Superior check the growth of corn. 

St. Mary's is healthy. J did not hear of ague 
there. Our party enjoyed excellent health in 
Lake Huron. 

But in point of agricultural improvements there 
IS both room and opportunity, by the drainage of 
swamps and shallow lakes. It is now in these 
countries as it was in the early times of Britain 
A great part of England was then taken up by un- 
wholesome marshes and woods, so that the lower 
levels were but little inhabited. Many of the 
towns, villages, and Druidical remains, were on 
the hill tops. Now our valleys are healthy, warm 
and productive. We therefore inhabit them. ' 
The white and red inhabitants of St. Mary's live 
chiefly on white fish caught in hand-nets at the 
foot of the rapids, and they, as before said, are 
salted m very large quantities. 

The rapids rush tumultuously in a white mass 
of eddying, billowy, foamy surge, through a strait 
only half the usual breadth, and half a mile lonff 
bordered on both sides by almost inaccessiblj 
swamps and dense woods, where the lowness of the 
banks has permitted a number of petty channels 
to form. Looking up from the middle of the river 
the scene is full of life, and stir, and strong con- 





trasts. We see dark woods and dazzling waters, 
often "crowded with IndiRn canoes. One reef, or 
ledge, very visible from the shore, is supposed to 
^ cause a drop of six feet. An American surveyor has 

calculated their total descent to be twenty-two feet 
ten inches. The underlying rock is a horizontal 
sandstone, mottled red and brown, belonging to 
the Silurian age. Father Hennessin (edit. 1696. 
p. 34) describes St. Mafy's Falls exactly as they 

are now. 

In 1824 I remained three weeks a guest at the 
g-I^if North-west Company's post, enjoying the great 
kindness of Mr. Sivewright, the superintendent, 
an old officer in the fur trade, familiar with the 
most remote regions of the north-west, and very 

Every place has its 6wn peculiarity, I suppose. 
Here it was the correct thing to live almost solely 
upon white fish morning, noon, and night. Rich 
and delicately-flavoured as this food was at first, 
in the end I loathed it, aind for ten years afterwards 
could not see fish on the dinner-table without a 
shudder. White fish here varies from three to 
six pounds in weight. , In Athabasca Lake they 
run to twenty pounds. | 

I was much pleased by my visits to Messrs. 

Ermatinger and Johnson. The former was every 

' inch a trader, public-ppirited, skHfal, sanguine, 

and indefatigable. Save two rooms, his whole 
dwelling was a warehouse. My shepherdess was 
quite at home among the Indians and the white 
fish. Her boudoir was full of little tokens of 
Atlantic city education. She seenoed mosquito- 
proof, and did the honours of her home with 
kindness and grace. 

Mr. Johnson was a merchant, with the generous 
and social qualities of the old Irish gentleman. He 
had been plundered and burnt out by the Ame- 
ricans in the war of 1814, in one of the many un- 
christian ravages which both parties committed on 
the unofiiending citizens on the frontiers. Up to 
the time of my visit (ten years afterwards) Mr. 
Johnson had received no compensation from his 
own Government.although his loss was very heavy, 
and his claims respectfully urged in the appointed 


I was surprised at the value and extent of this 
gentleman's library ; a thousand well-bound and 
well-selected volumes, French and English, evi- 
dently much in use, in winter especially ; and not 
gathered together in these days of cheap literature. 

Mr. Johnson was an Irishman of good family, 
and died in 1828. 

He was so kind as to invite some of his few 
neighbours to meet me at a good dinner, and 
produced a bottle of crusted port of an especial 




trasts. We see dark wopds and dazzling waters, 
often crowded with Indifin canoes. One reef, or 
ledge, very visible from the shore, is supposed to 
cause a drop of six feet. An American surveyor has 
calculated their total des|cent to be twenty-two feet 
ten inches. The underlining rock is a horizontal 
sandstone, mottled red &nd brown, belonging to 
the Silurian age. Father Hennessin (edit. 1696, 
p. 34) describes St. Mafy's Falls exactly as they 

are now. 

In 1824 I remained three weeks a guest at the 
^h^ North-west -Company's post, enjoying the great 
kindness of Mr. Sivewfight, the superintendent, 
an old officer in the fUr trade, familiar with the 
most remote regions of the north-west, and very 

Every place has its Own peculiarity, I suppose. 
Here it was the correct ^hing to live almost solely 
npon white fish morning, noon, and night. Rich 
and delicately-flavouretl as this food was at first, 
in the end I loathed it, apd for ten years afterwards 
. could not see fish on t|he dinner-table without a 
shudder. White fish here varies from three to 
six pounds in weight. In Athabasca Lake they 
run to twenty pounds. 

I was much pleased by ray visits to Messrs. 
Ermatinger and Johnson. The former was every 
inch a trader, public-epinted, skilful, sanguine. 



and indefatigable. Save two rooms, his whole 
dwelling was a warehouse. My shepherdess was 
quite at home among the Indians and the white 
fish. Her boudoir was full of little tokens of 
Atlantic city education. She seemed mosquito- 
proof, and did the honours of her home Avith 
kindness and grace. 

Mr. Johnson was a merchant, with the generous 
and social qualities of the old Irish gentleman. He 
had been plundered and burnt out by the Ame- 
ricans in the war of 1814, in one of the many un- 
christian ravages which both parties committed on 
the unoflFending citizens on the frontiers. Up to 
the time of my visit (ten years afterwards) Mr. 
Johnson had received no compensation from his 
ownGovernment.althoughhis loss was very heavy, 
and his claims respectfully urged in the appointed 

I was surprised at the value and extent of this 
gentleman's library ; a thousand well-bound and 
well-selected volumes, French and English, evi- 
dently much in use, in winter especially ; and not 
gathered together in these days of cheap literature. 

Mr. Johnson was an Irishman of good family, 
and died in 1828. 

He was so kind as to invite some of his few 
neighbours to meet me at a good dinner, and 
produced a bottle of crusted port of an especial 



Tintage — a sort of good thing of which I was utterly 
unworthy. ^ 

Mr. Johnson^had married the daughter of a 
powerful Indian chief, residing on the south shore 
of Lake Superior, whith, of course, hrought him 
the friendship and trade of all his tribe. She was 
a portly, bustling, happy-looking creature, and had 
imbibed all her husband's notions ; and she united 
to the open-handedneas of the Indian the method 
and notableness of the Englishwoman. 

They had several children, the eldest at that 
time a gay half-pay lieutenant of a Canadian corps. 
His eldest daughter has since married Mr. School- 
craft, formerly an Indian agent, but now at Wash- 
ington at the head of the Indian department ; a 
gentleman in every wfty worthy of his advance- 
ment, and to whom I am considerably indebted 
both for information and attentions. She then 
strongly reminded me of Walter Scott's Jeanie 
Deans by her quiet, modest ways, by her sweet 
round-oval features, expressive of the thankful and 
meek devotedness so universal in Indian women. 
The style, manners, and conversational topics, both 
here and at Mr. Ermatinger's, were remarkable, 
and quite distinct from those of the cities we had 
left behind as. I 

I shall not be so ungallant as to describe the 
dress of the ladies. N<t> lady likes to be described 



in a fashion ten years old, although no obsolete- 
ness in dress cau hide goodness and intelligence. 

I could not help inwardly smiling at the garb 
of our male company in their vast coat-collars " o 
la regent," and waists so high that the coats were 
all skirt. Their pantaloons were slit up outside, 
and adorned with a profusion of bullet-headed 
brass buttons ; while, in imitation of the Mexican 
rancheros and the English dragoons in Spain, 
these good people, who never crossed a horse, 
made the inner parts of this nameless garment 
almost wholly of leather. [ 

I envied the masses of long black hair which 
rested upon the shoulders of my friends. They 
had enough hair to make perukes for twenty 

The unsettled postures, dark hue, and wander- 
ing black eye of the Indian, were well marked in 
some of the guests, and the perfect gipsy face. 
Their English was good, and without the disagree- 
able nasality of the American. 

It is true that we ate fast and in silence, but 
this being over we were very merry, in spite of 
an abundance of mosquitoes. Each took up his 
own easy position, uncourtly but not uncourteous, 
and talk became plentiful. We wasted no words 
upon civilised man. We dilated upon the prospects 
of the fishery, of the wild-rice harvest, the furs 

VOL. II. ^ 






Of the last winter's hunt ,1.. 

fc» recent, whij:;^*''"'*" ''"^ «""■ 
A«.W,„,de„efe7tI.Tr ' 

"»».", who wore . brcdX '"; °r "'"''» 
°\7°"°' °f '"i»g been :i:i;i'"' °" *" '-' 

I*'" the rifle, .od .o„ld ."k Zh " v""""' '°'' 

1 Indian friends to kill »„jlf „ '"'"' "' ""«> 
-lay for all ti Je "^ '"'"' ■" '«■' «ii"g. 

fon-llTX'toXrr ■"''"'"-'» 
south and west of Lai. « '°°"°S-?'-on„ds to the 

of ..king tieir f„„ Xt^Z""- ''- "^ P-po« 
ensnre repa,„,ent of t e ^ ' .?" "', '^y' '» 
-•de to the Indians. '"■°°''' ■^""oes 

In summer mj- friends pertb^.. ,, , . 
--..gentlemen. tC, f^J^'tl™'- 

;it.r:htii:™::^r ^---^e wer 
'™-pp-e,the.nimai;;i- :;;---; 





"idom '"'7'T''''' '• "'^'•^ ^ "-'' thoughts 
seldom go further than himself his shnn / 

bottle, horse, and rifle. ^' ^"'■"^' 

In the country parts of Canada few younc men 
get above the class of - gents " an/.i, ,? 
seldom rise higher in ttl ' '^^'" 

... A " ^''^"' notions than tho 

second-rate retired tradesmen at home There 
are here and there some few loftie" m^n 
dnven mto hiding-places by misfortune but' 
tJiey only mark, and so thicken th. , 

o-lonm Ti,« • iniCKen, the general 

.ioom There ,s not enough ofthe fine gold of 

B:^.:drLr';:-tr--- '■ 


^nt'irefs.'"""""^ "' "'^-- ^— i./::^' 

I ad™ only the nneasy clwses of Great Rri,.- 
.0 l..e in Canada; the Ly classes Cerj 
strenuously advise to ™it it "' ' 

I did not And my time heavy at St. Marv's 
Opportunities of leaving are rare .nj \ 

;»^e..o my friends cLtrac.r;ir.r try 
young Indians to take mv n]A * n- ^ 

Panio„,M Tabeau^.r:^:-*^-- 
and myself to Collipr'* W»^ -.. "'^ ''' 

Island in Tot ^ Harbour, on Drummond 

Marl' I ^"""' ^"'•*^-«^« ™i'^« from St 

Mar3 s. It was 1 100 miles from Quebec and th. 
niost westerly British post. ' *^' 




Canoe-Toyage to Drmnmond Isle — Mosqsiitoes — Mnddy Lake 
— St. Joseph — Indian Widow ftdl of tnst — Night-storm on a 
Shingle Bank — Arrival — Port CoUier — Garrison Life — Heads 
in a Sack — Indian War Party — Mackinaw, Town, Island — 
Mr. and Mrs. Macvicar — Indian Chieft— Lady and Ring — 

Voyage with Indians to Drummond Isle — Their kindness 

American Officer killed — Arrival in state — Boundary Commis - 
iion — H. M. schooner Confiance — Entomology — Little and 
Grand Manitoulines — Thunder-storm — Voyage down Southern 
Huron to River St. Clair. 

1, suit 

About the middle of a calm, sultry day, we em- 
barked in a small crampy canoe, with a little tea, 
biscuit, and ham. 

It was again my lot \o leave kind hearts. With 
many a good wish expressed, and many a wave of 
the hat, we glided down the gentle current of the 
strait, more borne along by its friendly force than 
by Indian diligence, for we soqn found that of 




those who ply the paddle between Mackinaw and 
the Yellow Stone River we had picked up th 
veriest idlers of all. But they were civil, merry 
and talkative. Reproof or encouragement wer^ 
difficult, as they only spoke the Chippewa 

Time, however, 3tole on, and — thanks to the 
current aforesaid — evening found us twelve or 
fourteen miles from St. Mary's, towards the bot- 
tom of Lake George. Twilight coming on, we 
pushed into a creek, or rather stagnant ditch, for 
a hundred yards, and found a little greensward, 
which pleased us at first with its coolness. 

" Under the hlossom that hangs on the bough." 

But our operations preparatory for the night 
aroused the mosquitoes, which rushed in clouds 
upon us, ravenous for the prey. While taking 
a little tea, I had only to open and shut my 
hand to crush half-a-dozen ; but they were in the 
air, the grass, the trees, in billions. This is the 
case all over the Indian countries at certain sea- 
sons, and is a plague only to be moderated by 
mosquitoe-nets, and by encamping, if possible, on 
a rock free to every wind. Our Indians did not 
seem much annoyed by them. 

I shall not describe the night we passed. The ' 

1 1 








hired beggars in the Hindoo flea-hospitals do not 
fare worse. I quite lost my temper under the 
persecutions of my innumerable foes and the 
clammy, stifling heat of the place ; always a great 
mistake, but I am bound bjthe Christian verity 
to confess it, as I now do. 

We were early risers, most anxious for the open 
waters, and sped along at a goodly pace down the 
West Nibish Rapid into Muddy Lake, the vicinity 
being rendered very picturesque by sparkling 
lapids, islets, and verdant uplands, in every 

Muddy Lake, a part of Lake Huron, is so named 
from the nature of its bottom. It is nine miles 
across from east to west, and about the same 
length. Its boundaries may be s^en by a glance 
at the map. The shores run into deep and often 
grassy bays. 

There is a series of small streams and lakes 
which leiad from Lake George to Goose Islands, 
near Michilimackinac, which furnishes a short 
and quiet way thither from St. Mary's. Brine 
springs are common upon this route, and Goose 
Islands have a considerable deposit of gypsum. 

St. Joseph belongs to Canada, and is a compact 
island, seventeen miles by twelve in general di- 
mensions, its length running south-east. 

Its interior rises to the height ,of 500 feet by 



three tiers of rich woods, which are called the 
" Highlands of St. Joseph." 

At its south-eastern extremity there had been 
for thirty-five years a small British post, until 
about the year 1820. 

It is fertile. Its coasts are broken into bays 
with a few islands about them. It has at least 
two creeks. They are on the south and east 
sides. One is at the south-east cape, near an ex- 
cellent harbour. 

Our surveyors, rowing a mile or two up this 
stream, were surprised one day to find a neat log- 
house far up in the woods, with a patch of Indian 
corn and other vegetables. It was inhabited by an 
Indian widow and her daughter. Nothing could 
exceed the cleanliness of this lodge in the wilder- 
ness. They were not alarmed at our visit, and 
came to our camp for needles and such-like little 
matters. They were Roman Catholics, and pleas- 
ing, well-conducted people. We had not been 
aware of any one being upon St. Joseph ; it is a 
jungle containing only bears and other wild 
animals. We did not afterwards meet with any 
one who knew them. Two lone women in sudi 
a desert in the bowlings of a Canadian winter ! 
— what resignation and trust in a presiding 
Being ! ! 

But to return to oar voyage of two days and two 



nights to Collier's Harbour. We loitered through 
the second day in Indian fashion ; life being with 
our red friends not a task but a holiday. 

By the middle of the day we had passed the 
narrow part of Muddy Lake, through the strait 
(a mile broad), had skirted the ascending shores of 
Isle a la Crosse, and were leaving behind us the 
ruined fort at the south point of St. Joseph, when 
we saw a black cloud^arise on the north, the lake 
growing dark in that direction, frith a rough 
brown scud driving towards us. 

As we were within five miles of Collier's Har- 
bour, with the wind, though gustful and mutter- 
ing, in our favour, we held on, and were ap- 
proaching the first of the three little islets which 
spot the route between St. Joseph and our desti- 
nation, when a blast of wind came suddenly upon 
us, and almost lifted our tiny craft out of the 
water, bodily. There was distant thunder, and 
lightning was flashing behind us: single drops of 
rain began to splash heavily in the irater. 

The Indians immediately paddlej to the islet 
at hand, a mere morsel of shingle, of an acre 
perhaps, with a young birch-tree and a few bushes 
on it. ' j 

A few minutes sufficed (for we worjced in haste) 
to drag the canoe ashore, turn it keql upwards to 
shelter the Indians, and fling our little sail over 



two poles and some bushes for ourselves, with 
some ham and biscuit, if we chose to eat ; which, 
however, we did not. 

Scarcely were we under our poor covering 
when the coming storm assailed us, not with its 
mere fringes, but in its full fury. I thought the 
wind would have swept us into the lake ; it 
dipt off" the crests of the foaming surf, and drove 
them right across the little beach. 

The waves swept by us, that dark and moonless 
night, in line after line, of tail, white breakers ; 
and in reality threatened rather unpleasantly to 
swallow up our bit of shingle. All this while 
our thin sail at intervals shook vehemently with 
the tempest, and shielded us very imperfectly 
from the occasional bursts of heavy rain. 

The lightning was quite blinding ; each flash 
(and they were many) revealed, as clear as day, 
leagues of stormy waters and scattered isles ; and 
then left us for several minutes in utter inky 

My brows began to ache ; and the brightness 
was so painfully intense that I wrapped my head 
in a boat-cloak, and committed myself to a mer- 
ciful Providence. 

The Roman Catholic priest sat quietly by my 
side, now and then endeavouring to read his 
breviary by the light of a taper, which the storm 



: ii' 



'I fl 




put out every three or four minuses, and which 
he re-lit by help of his tinder-box. Fire we had 
none, of course. He afterwards gave up the 
attempt, and laid himself down to listen to 
" luctantes ventos, tempestatesque eonoras." 

The storm lasted several hours. Towards raid- 
night it moderated, and we fell asl^p. 

Next morning, as is usual after* such passion- 
ate outbreaks, every thing looked fresh and 
gay ; and the sun was shining upon a smiling 
world. I 

Of the Indians under the canoes, and how they 
fared, we knew nothing, save that the eddies of 
the wind from time to time brought to us a strong 
odour of tobacco ; so that to them that ugly night 
may have been a season of luxurious enjoyment. 

We put off, and passing on our left the snug 
little village of Portoganesa, on the crescent- 
shaped island of that name, we arHved, by seven 
o'clock or so, at the north portage of Port Col- 
lier, where we found some officers of the garrison 
awaiting our arrival (or anybody's, for they knew 
US not). They had seen our canoe from the emi- 
nence behind the barracks, and made manv 
kind inquiries how we passed the tempestuous 

I shall say but little topographically about the 
British post on Drummond Island, because it is 



deserted, having been assigned to the United 

But I may mention that both the barracks and 
the village ranged along the front of the harbour. 
Behind is a slope loaded with rounded white 
rocks, called " Drummond's Lambs" (at a dis- 
tance they look like sheep), and surmounted by 
a natural terrace of rock. 

Drummond Island is twenty-four miles long; 
its greatest breadth twelve miles, and its least 
two and a half miles. It is separated from the 
American main by a strait of about a mile across. 

This post was established by General Drum- 
mond about the year 1812. It is healthy, but 
most dismal, — a mere heap of rocks on the edge 
of an impenetrable medley of morass, ponds, and 
matted woods. 

I observed in two or three of the houses, in the 
village of Indian traders and their half-breed 
children, that some of the rooms were lined with 
moss and birch-bark, — a very good contrivance 
in so cold a climate. . | 

In 1823, the garrison consisted of two com- 
panies of infantry. It may be well to put down 
a few notes on garrison life on the frontier of 
a British colony. | 

The friendly and intelligent gentlemen of the 
garrison had little to do save read, hunt for fossils. 






fish,' shoot, cut down trpp« ^r.A i . 
■ Their mn.-f A ' P'^"* potatoes. 

lhe,r military duties took up little of their time 
Now and then they made an excursion to Mi hTl ." 

inspect the government herd of[cattIe grazing 

traders' 'a1''^"°"^^^^''^^^-^f- Indian 
traders, and an mspecting-officer once a-year 
They were more than 200 miles froL. fh 
British military station. ''' "'"^^*~ 

ducks will j^trtttr^T^-"^'-^ 

- hard'and vetT."' ^^P"^^""' *^« f-^-- ^ared 
nara and yet di.d not save monev Pv^ 

nature candidus by n^me and by 

THE soldier's FOLLY. I4JI 

dishes of potatoes, were both dinner and dessert 
I was astonished. This was followed by a poor Si- 
cilian wine. It appeared that contrary winds had 
retarded their usual supplies. 
Such is military life on detached service. I 

The men were employed as much as possible 
at one kind of work or other; but both drunken- 
ness and desertion were too common. They ob 
tamed whisky from the village in spite of strict 
regulations to the contrary, and had no notion of 
saving their surplus pay. As a less demoralisino- 
mode of getting rid of the soldier's money than 
buying whisky, the commandant in my time 
sent to Detroit, 300 miles, for a small company 
of players, ;into whose pockets the men joyfully 
poured their money. Among these strollers there 
was a modest and very pretty young woman, the 
daughter of the manager, Blanchard by name- 
one or two of the officers went crazy about her; 
but, in the midst of the excitement, the command^ 
ant suddenly shipped off the whole party, and 
the flame went out. | 

Desertion is scarcely to be prevented when ' 
soldiers are placed so near the frontier of the 
United States. There is, at least, a change for 
them, and they expect for the better. i 

While I was there, an order came from Que- 
bec to the post, forbidding the employment of 



for during the 

Indians in capturing deserters; „. ^„ „,^ 

' preceding summer five soldiers started eariy in 
the morning across the strait to the American 
mam, and made by the Indian p^th for Michili 
mackinac. On arriving there thej would be safe 
The commandant sent half-a-iozen Indians 
after them, who in a couple of day^ returned with 
the men s beads in a bag. 

The Indians knew a short cut4d got a-head 
of their prey, and lay in ambush behind a rock 
in the track. When the soldiers came within 
a few feet of them, the Indians fired, and in the 
end killed every one of them. 

During my stay at Collier's Harbour' a war- 
party (fi^rty.five) of the Pottawaiomies, from 
Wisconsin, accompanied by three tromen, paid 
a visit to the post. They were as grim as red 
and black paint, red moose-hair, Spears, clubs 
and guns could make them. 

Th« commandant caused a large bower to be 
built on the beach ; and. surrourided by his 
officers in full dress, there received h s guests. 

The chief, a fine dauntless fellow, Lde a lon<. 
and animated speech on the occasion, in briel" 
but picturesque sentences, with the isual pauses 
and gesticulations with his spear. 

I remember that he began by beggijig Major F. 
to clear out his ear with a feather from an eagle's 



wmg, that the way to his heart might be free 
The jist of the speech was, that they had been 
out on a war excursion, and had killed three pale- 
faces (Americans). 

The British officer replied, that he was ex- 
tremely grieved to hear this, and that they must 
abide, unassisted, the wrath of the people they 
had injured. 

The Indians professed themselves greatly sur- 
prised. They thought it was with us as with 
them,— once a foe, and always. I 

Except three or four, these Indians were much 
inferior to the European average in size, weight 
and strength. Where they had picked up the' 
women I know not, being a war-party. 

After the conference they danced a war-dance 
with great solemnity to the drums and songs of 
their three women; a remarkable sight, and often 
well described. 

Rations were given to these mistaken, but very 
self-satisfied people, for a few days, when they 
departed. They received no presents. | 

Drummond Island is celebrated for abounding 
m beautiful and new fossils, some of which are 
figured in the London " Geological Transactions." 
Its orthocera, a many-chambered fossil mollusc, 
are sometimes five and six feet long. 
Awaking one bright and fragrant morning, the 



window being open, I was surprised to hear a 
chorus of vmces coming off the water. Having 

that it signalled 
despatches and 

yet." So I lay 

asked what it meant, I was told 
the approach of a canoe with 

" They are full six miles off 
and listened. 

As long as the music was'distait it was charm- 
ing, like — 

" Voices of soft proclaim, 
And sHver stir of strings in hoUo^^ shells." 

but when it came near, its delicacy ceased. 

Humming-birds are both large and numerous 
at this place. How often have I sat at the open 
window of Mr. White's cottage, whose light 
was tempered by a trellis of scarlet-beans, and 
watched these graceful little beipgs, while they 
tremblingly sipped on the wing ijhe honey from 
the flowers ! 1 

After remaining on this occasion a week or 
more at Drummond Island, together with my 
friendly priest I again started foi- Michilimack- 
inac (forty-two miles west), a small but important 
island at the entrance of Lake Michigan. 

Leaving in the early morn, and having willing 
and stout canoe-men, we arrived laite on the same 
night without any adventure. 

Our course was straight, holding on our right 


the south-west mainland, a series of points and 
shallow bays. I 

The lake is here pretty clear of islands, and is 
shallow; its floor of limestone being very visible 
far from shore, huge slabs sometimes rising to 
the surface. 

Twenty-five miles off, Michilimackinac (Mack- 
inaw) is a long, low cloud on the edge of the 

It is an oval, nine miles in circumference^ 
lying nearly north-west, a few miles to the east 
of the imaginary line separating Lakes Huron 
and Michigan. I 

The short sides of the island are pebbled 
beaches, the long sides picturesquely-wooded 
cliffs of white limestone. 

The view into Lake Michigan from the Indian 
path, which winds among the shrubbery on the 
summit of the south-west precipice, is particularly 
pleasing. The land, at first closing on the water, 
at the pretty hamlet of St. Ignatius and its oppo- 
site cape, at once dilates into a capacious sound 
with curving woody shores, and sprinkled with \ 
islands in the distance. 

The projecting point, 150 feet high, near the 
south-east angle of the island, is perforated by two 
large windowlike openings, close together. The 
height of this rock, its whiteness contrasting with 

VOL. II. j_ 





the dark investiture of cedar, and the light of the 
blue sky streaming through th^ apertures, ir^ake 
a striking composition for the painter. 

Ezeepting three small farms. little had been done 
agriculturally when I was there. The heavy timber 
had been felled, and was replaced by flourish- 
mg shrubbery. I ran hastUy over the higher parts 
of the island, and found them rough and often 
n^arshy. In the middle, near an oblong mound 
IS a smgular mass of limestone shaped like a suo-ar- > 
loaf, fifty or sixty feet high, and so steep al to **' 
have only a few cedar-bushes upon it. 

The town is at the south-east e«d of the island 
on the narrow beach, and under a high cliff It 
then consisted of from 1 00 to ] 20 wooden houses in 
two parallel streets, that in the rea, being the best 
The chin-ch in the middle of the town was a dis- 
graceful wooden ruin, standing amone the neat 
white habitations of the citizens. 

I did not go into the fort. It overlooks the 
town in a broken line of officers' houses (white 
with green verandahs), with strong white picket- 
ing m the gaps, and ornamentally terminated at 
each end by square white towerst A narrow 
walled road leads up the crumbling precipice from 
the town. 

There is neither harbour nor pieri Vessels lie 
oat fer from land. y, 



A friend was prepared for me at Mackinaw in 
tne toliowing manner. i 

Forty.five years before my visit to Drummond 
Island, a Scotch youth, tolerably well educated, 
of the name of Macvicar, ran away from his Ba- 
rents at Banff, and entered as a common sailor on 
board a merchant vessel bound to Quebec. There 
be left the ship, and made his way into the ex- 
treme west of Canada, and his parents never heard 
of hun more. But it was known that he had sailed 
tor Quebec. 

About this time, a nephew of the runaway a 
mditary medical officer, arrived at Quebec on duty 
and was charged to inquire after his lost relative' 
At length he heard that there was an Indian trader 
of the name of Macvicar in Lake Huron The 
officer was an old friend of mine, and gave me a 
letter of introduction to his uncle, if he should 
prove such. 

I found a Mr. Macvicar at Collier's Harbour, 
and he proved to be the very man. 

He was nearer seventy than sixty, built large 
and bony, with broad rugged features, crowned 
with tangled masses of grizzled hair. He had 
early married the daughter of a chief of the semi- 
civihsed tribe of the Ottawas, and by her he had 
large family. His businesslike habits, a smat- 





tering of medicine, his tried bravery, and his 
matrimonial connexion, soon enabled him to accu- 
mulate property in the fur-trade. 

In 1823 he had a valuable establishment on 
Drummond Island, and a still more important 
one at Mackina*^, which latter Mrs. Macvicar 
conducted. i 

I dined once hr twice with Mr. Macvicar at 
Collier's Harbour, found him very companionable, 
and inquisitive about Scotland and his nephew' 
to whom, by the tye, he wrote a letter of thanks'. 
He was not annoyed at all by what occurred at 
dinner, and throughout the evening at each of my 
visits— the perpetual straying in and out of our 
room of dirty Indians, women and men, in rag-^ed 
blankets. " 

Down they sqyatted in the corners, puffing 
their abominable M'eed-smoke into our faces, and 
joining freely in the conversation. 

I told Mr. Macvicar my English notions of this. 
" Such is our custom," said he. " They are all re- 
" spectable peoplet If I denied them, my trade 
« would stop; and I might soon have between my 
" ribs a knife-thrus^, sharp and sufficient." I said 
no more. 

He was so kin(J as to give me a letter to his 
wife, good for comfortable board and lodging as 

long as it suited me. To her, therefore, I went 
on arriving at Mackinaw. 

She gave me a nice clean bed, in a large empty 
granary ; cool and airy in the summer heats then 
prevailing. She told me the hours of the family 
meals, and gave me the escort of one of her sons 
in my various excursions. 

I would not mind seeking a lost uncle for any 
other of my friends, if he had such a wife as Mrs. 

She was both kind and sagacious. She saw in 
a moment my wants, and supplied them. 

Many Indians speak French excellently. Mrs. 
Macvicar understood both English and French, 
but only spoke Indian. She was stout, a little 
taller than most Indian females. She was of a 
right genial nature. Her swart countenance was 
written all over with benevolence ; it was one 
great symbol of love and help ; and yet all her 
numerous household obeyed "the mother" at a 
look. Nothing could be more orderly than her 
establishment. She superintended everything, 
from the merchant-store to the scullery. 

Her brother and his two sons, of pure Indian 
blood, were the handsomest men of any nation I 
ever saw. 

Having been thoroughly wearied by clambering 



about in the island the day before, I slept rather 
late one morning — to between six and seven ; and 
was then aroused by a massive but elastic footstep 
in my spacious bedroom. 

On opening uiy eyes I beheld, to my astonish- 
ment, and with some little nervous thrill, a mas:- 
nificent Indian, With shaven crown, in the splendid 
attire of his people — six feet high, moulded in the 
perfection of heaiity and strength. He was pacing 
to and fro, like i High Admiral on his deck of 
state— a living pfjrtrait of force in repose— and 
filling the air with white curling volumes of smoke 
from a long feathfered calumet. 

He was one of Nature's gentlemen, and smiled 
slightly at my awaiking, and then left the granary, 
as I suppose, that I might dress. 

If he had remaiijed, I fear he would have thought 
it hi« duty to fling my poor corpuscle through the 
ample window into the lake belovF, as a certain 
Harry L. was Serled — and as is said to be done 
with the weakly iiifants of these regions. 

In the course of the morning I made the acquain- 
tance of the chief Jn due form, and that of his son, 
eighteen years old, a youth of remarkable beauty 
— without his father's muscular developement, and 
his face, with the pride of the Indian eye, retain- 
ing the delicacy of the child. He was also dressed 




in rich materials, silver armlets, breastplate, dye» 
moose-hair, bead-embroidered leather, as soft as i. 
lady's glove. 

An elder brother was with them, about twenty- 
one— a remarkably fine Indian — symmetry itself; 
i but entirely differing in general expression from 
>■ his relatives. It is well known that family pecu- 
liarities pass over one or more generations and 
reappear. Accordingly, this youth had a dan- 
gerous bird-of-prey beauty, the eagle-nose, the 
lowering, implacable eye of some forgotten ances- 
tor. He seemed to have been bred, not under the 
dove, but the vulture. I instinctively avoided 
this young gentleman.* 

The fact was that these kinsmen had arrived 
over-night at Mackinaw, on their way with their 
tribe to Drummond Island, to receive their annual 
presents from the British Government. 

Although actually residing a^L'Arbre Croche 
in Lake Michigan, and in the United States, they 
considered themselves British subjects, and some 
years afterwards migrated to the Grand Manitou- 
line of Lake Huron. j 

Indian notions of honour an^ obligation differ 
sometimes from ours. j 

* Some may say, " The Ottawas are semi-civilised ; you are 
colouring too highly." No ; the sketch is exact. CUve, the con- 
queror of India, was bred in a parsonage. 



rhese comparatively opulent persons saw no 
wrong m gom^ a hundred miles for a fe,. small 

presents They, ooked upon them as a retain"" 
fte, and thejourney as a holiday just before maize! 

During the s.jmmer of 1822 a very laro-e and 
splend,d steamer* (I have seen none equal t^ i „ 
Europe. 1849) made her appearance m' the H „ 


Red men and| white flocked to see her from 
great distances; pd among others the three Ot- 
tawas I have beefl slightly describing 

The steam-sbip arrived at the appointed day 

crowded wufashUables from theAtLticshoes' 
of the United Stages, eager to penetrate so safely 
andagreeably intj the far Indian solitudes 

Among the numerous passengers was an uncom- 
fortable lookmg, shaky old gentleman, from the 
sweet vdlage-tow:, of Geneva on Lake Seneca, 
evidently a nch «an, laden with silly jewellery 
and w,th a much Weightier burthen in a romanti; 
and very fair w,fe, ^ne-third his own age, as eager 
and m.pressible as he was stark and torpid 

When the OttaM^a tribe appeared on the waters 
each canoe carryirig its own red pennon-when 

Jg^ll'^ '"" '"^ ^'^'' •'"^ ^^^^ — «^er. These na.e. 




the warriors stood on the deck, resplendent in 
silver and scarlet, in a costume of which the Mexi- 
can cacique of old would have been proud, the 
American lady was almost beside herself. 

Forgetting her displeased husband, who tot- 
tered anxiously after her, her nimble and glowino- 
imagination filled with unreaj visions of sylvan 
life, she wandered in ecstasies from group to group, 
and at length stood transfixed before our youngest 
Ottawa friend, Mrs. Macvicar's nephew, as he was 
gazing in one of his picturesque attitudes at the 
new monster, its strange entrails, wreathing va- 
pours, and great %vhite wings. 

In a little time the lady awoke from her trance, 
and asked for an interpreter. One was easily pro- 
cured. Through him, standing in the midst of a 
large wondering circle, she asked the young In- 
dian to permit her to place upon his finger a richly 
enchased gold ring, as a remembrance of their 
meeting on the bright waters of Huron. 

The young man was at first mute with surprise 
— looking at the sky, the ring on his finger, and 
the lady ; when at length, in a few slowly-spoken 
and scarcely-audible words, he said, " Tell the 
" pale sister with the blue eyes, that Mahkiouta 
" accepts her ring as the emblem of love. Tell 
" her that she has poured sunbeams into his soul, 
" and made him strong in the forest. 


I'! i 

MKS. G. 

" Tell the pale sister, that as my belt of scented 
" grass* remind^ rae of my wide savannahs, so for 
" ever shall her ring of this happy meeting." 

This incident suited the American taste, and 
went the round of the newspapers. I joined the 
steamer (being t|ien on an excursion) at Detroit 
on her return vojyage. and descended Lake Erie 
together with Mr^. G., the lady of the ring, a three 
days' trip. I found her an interesting person, 
fanciful, and clever-much to be pitied, and the 
victim probably of sordid parents. 

Having been Sufficiently long at Mackinaw, 
Mrs. Macvicar, njy good genius, engaged a seat 
for n>e m the cande of an Ottawa chief, going to 
Drummond Island with his people for presents- 
not with her splendid brother, but with the Black- 
birdf (I do not mean our soprano of the woods). 

The price of mjj conveyance, I am sorry to say, 
was a couple of bottles of rum. 

When introduced to this great warrior, as I had 
heard him described to be, 1 was surprised to find 
before me a small man, with a knowing little face, 

W.^and called Indian grass. It is often made into ornament. 

t So named from the device painted on the right side of his fece. 

TlTC^ } """ represented by one of Ms, while the head 
and beak spread over his forehead and temple 



which would have fitted a country shoemaker. 
There was no melo-dramatic nonsense about him. 

I was provided with a lump of ham, a large 
loaf, and a bottle of whisky, stoppered, for want 
of a cork, with half of one of Miss Edgeworth's 
novels (doubtless originally from the garrison), 
and then was told that the Indians had embarked. 

Running down to the beach with my knapsack 
and provision-bag, I found a little fleet of twenty- 
five canoes on the point of starting; and was bidden 
by signs to jump into the canoe nearest me, but 
seeing no room, I hesitated. 

The craft was not large. On the prow, where 
there i^ a little shelf, there sat an unquiet young 
bear, tied with a cord, — two smoking Indians and 
three children sitting on the canoe-bottom next 
to him. Then came four women-rowers, among 
whom I was to squat, or nowhere. The stem-half 
of the canoe was occupied by the Blackbird and 
a friend, with three more young^ imps and a 
steersman. Two or three dogs kept constantly 
circulating among our legs in search of dropped 
eatables, who so approved of my ham that I was 
fain to keep it on my knees. 

But we all settled down into a sort of strff 

The water was as smooth as glass. The strong 
unclouded sun was in mid-heavens. We moved 



on w rr/ " ""''"'' ^"^'^ ^"^ ^^'•-^^. both 

on land and lak.. and I was once ™ore abandoned 
to the happy-go-lucky do-nothings of the Indian 

Theycertainly never intended to go further that 
day than a well-known point fifteen n.iles distant, 
on the south-wept main ; for seeing that there 
was the gentlest possible of all airs in our favour 

dtoed 'n.'r'-^"'''' *'^ ^P^'^ ''^'' ^h« ladies' 
d^ed paddle ,n»o water, but seldon. and most 

delicately falling into that murmnring musical 

r? r. " " '" ^^^^'•y- ^'^'^ *b- it was all 
the fleet through. 

We proceeded. Iherefore. lazily and irregularly, 
greeting by turns every canoe as we paled o 
were passed The heat was intense, but I saw no 

thatT t V"®"'"^ '""^ '^''" -- *he pipe- 
that brought the complacent reverie 

I employed myself in a variety of wavs-iu 

watchmg my neighbours, and especially th'e bear 

who knew the others, but not me. I counted thj 

240 circular buckles of silver on the back of one 

6f the women, fastened close together like the 

imks of Cham armour, each worth about tenpence. 

Her neck was hid under blue and white beads, 

and she wore broad anklets and armlets of silver 

plate. She had also slung over her back, by a 

white cord, from her neck, a massive silver cross 



eight or nine inches long. The other women, 
likewise, had on similar visiting finery. 

The men were grandly dressed with chamois 
leather leggings, ornamented with fanciful traceries 
m porcupine quills, and fringed on the outer seam 
with red moose-hair. They wore broad breast- 
plates of silver, with their name or device en- 
graved on it. and armlets and fore-armlets of the 
same metal three or four inches broad. 

Some had European hats, with broad bands of 
solid silver, silver cord running here and there, 
and an ostrich feather. Others wore a stig; high 
round cap, covered with red moose -hair which 
streamed over their shoulders. 

It must be remarked, that although the general 
effect was very fine, the details were often defect- 
ive ; for instance, their many-coloured or red shirt 
of stiffened calico, made very full, was not always 
of the newest. 

To the great delight of my cramped limbs, at 
six m the afternoon we put on shore on a shingle 
point, with a fey^ bushes, and some drift-wo^od 
ready for burning. 

As soon as we landed, two or three men started 
with a net into a little bay close by, and in less 
than a couple of hours returned with a good catch 
of salmon-trout for general distribution. 

Meantime the Indian women built the wigwams, 


— a simple proces 
maize, wall.ed u 


made the fires, pounded the 

. ' '^ ^^^ ^°ees into the lake, and 

there ^coared thejir noisy children well all over 

The men lounged about, playing at duck and 

^ drake wuh the taller boys, all screaming n,ost 

triumphantly at i capital throw. 

I saw, indeed, nothing but good feeling amonc 
tbese people, and was very pleased in the cours: 
of the evening t[> observe the great tenderness 
bestowed upon . paralytic young Indian. He 
hadlosttheusec^f his leftside. He had a bed, 
with blankets, in Ue of the canoes ; his head was 
^o ra.sed that h.. could look about. All his 
braveries were on. and his hat was decorated with 

gold cord. His face was flushed, and looked 
rather irritable, b. t was intelligent. His friend^ 
earned him carefully to a wigwam 

I believe they took him to receive his present 
as an amusement to him, although it niav be 
necessary for every Indian to appear personallv. 
Ihis IS not the only instance of kindness toward, 
the helpless that I have seen among the sava..e« 
For a long time Ubody took any notice of me 
so I begged a bla^jiiig stick and made mvself a' 
fire, with which I roasted and smoked a slice of 
bam (cut with a penknife). Of this, with some 
bread I was making a sorry supper, when, seeing 
, tive or six Indians joined me. 

a bottle by my side, 



and were, as far as signs went, very civil, but ca.t 
longmg looks at my whisky-bottle, with words 
among which I recognised, " Nidge -skittewabo '' 
(" Friend— fire-water "). 

Eventually— you must imagine the process — 
they drank all my store, with my perfect good- 
will, and left me. ■^■ 

Some may ask, Whether it was safe to be alone 
with a large body of Indians ? Yes .'—because I 
was known to be a king's officer, and this band 
was going for presents. Had I been an American, 
the case might possibly in these days have been 

That same summer a young medical officer in 
the American service, stationed at Mackinaw, 
having obtained leave of absence to fetch his 
wife, was crossing a portage near Greenbay, 
Lake Michigan, when he engaged an Indian, he 
met with on the road, to carry his portmanteau. 
So the Indian walked after the medical officer, 
with his load upon his head, and his gun under 
his arm. 

All at once the Indian said to himself, "This is 
a Big-knife ! The Big-knives shot my father — I 
will shoot this Big-knife!" and did so instantly, 
through the back, and killed him. 

The poor officer had left his wife, on service, a 
few days after marriage, and had been away a year. 



While I was sitting alone after supper, the 
Blackbird and another man brought out of the 
woods some long supple boughs, and planted 
them in the ground as the skeleton of a bower — 
for some sick woman, I supposed. Over them 
they flung an old sail, and smoothing the floor 
within, they lined it with fragrant fir- tops, then 
with a mat, and finally with green baize cloth. 

The good Blackbird, to my surprise, put my 
little baggage into the back part of the bower, 
and then led me by the hand to it, with many 
gentle but unintelligible words, and made me 
take possession. I gave him the thanks of the 
eyes, having no other. 

Tied to a bush just behind my bower was friend 
Bruin, restless and strange, every now and then 
twitching and dragging at his tether. This I did 
not like. 

As I sat upon the ground in, front of my new 
home (I had tBought for once to have slept in a 
wigwam with the family !), watching the scene, a 
young man brought me a large middle cut of a 
salmon trout, boiled and smoking hot, enough for 
a whole dinner-party in London, on a clean board, 
with a bone-handleld knife and fork. My previous 
supper did not prey^ent my relishing this present 
highly ; there was ^ut little left. 

Now would I have gone to rest, for the moon 





was rising,' and the air was chill ; but the Black- 
bird, and six or seven elders of the tribe, sat down 
round the mouth of my bower to talk over the 
news — not with me, for I could speak no Chip- 
pewa, and they no French. 

The chief brought with him a case of spirit- 
bottles, and at long intervals handed round, with 
polite gravity, little thimble-like glasses of whisky 
to the circle. In an hour they retired, each to his 
dormitory. I 

I covered the upper half of my doorway, made 
a pillow of my provision-bag, threw my greatcoat 
over me, and soon slept, in spite of the rippling 
waters, and the grunts of the restless bear behind. 

I must have been asleep two or three hours 
when, suddenly, down fell my head to the ground. 
I thought of savages, wolves, and bears ; but on 
opening my eyes, I saw my pillow, with its ham, 
&c. moving quickly out of the bower, between the 
teeth of a foxy Indian dog, whose green-red eyes 
glared frightfully on me. 

He had companions, but they all fled at my 
shout, leaving the pillow. I had the good fortune 
to settle soon again to sleep, and did not awake 
until five in the morning, when it was time to 
arise. | 

I sallied forth, and found the Nidges loading 
the canoes, drest in their best. But a dense fog, 

VOL. II. u 


caused by the cold 


night air, put evei^thing out 
of sight— the woods, the lake itself, and our little 
fleet. We saw nothing but the rimy bushes and 
stones, and the dim waters that crept along the 
bank of shingle. 

We set oflP partly with paddles, partly pretending 
to sail at every momentary puff of wind ; and thus 
we glided slowly through the thick mist, guided, 
I doubt not, by the land on our left, of which I 

saw nothing. 

I began to prepare my mind moodily for another 
day and night with the friendly Redskins ; but a 
gentle breeze spra^ng up, dispersing, in some 
degree, the fog, and pushing us on at the rate of 
five miles an hour — every eye gladdening his 
neighbour ; for the dancing motion of the canoes, 
and the relief from labour, had put us all in 


We continued thqs for several hours, and then, 
to my disappointment, turned into a bay three 
mUes from Collier's Harbour, and there landed- 
net to breakfast, but for the Indians to don new 
ornaments, repaint their faces, and hoist the 
British flag at the stern of the two canoes be- 
longing to chiefs, vfhile the others had small red 
banners flying over them. 

The whole fleet at length drew up in line, and 
started for the British post. 




When, to my unspeakable content, we arrived 
just outside of the harbour, the sun burst forth 
most opportunely, and lighted up the pretty capes 
and isles, the white houses and uplands of the 
port. There was quite a forest or town of wig- 
wams (from one hundred to a hundred and twenty) 
on the beach, and a crowd of soldiers, Indians, 
and white settlers, at the edge of the water, to 
g^eet and criticise our entree. 

The moment we were embayed, and therefore 
without wind, the women struck out vigorously, 
gazing with modest joy upon their lords and 
brothers, as they silently arose in grim and glit- 
tering array, and so stood until we landed. 

Looking round me at the time, I thought I had 
never seen a gayer pageant — a fleet of fine 
canoes, pennons flying, full of athletic savages 
clothed in silver, and coming peacefully, without 
a shot being fired even in compliment. 

The red spectators were mute ; the white men 

I parted with the Blackbird and his nation in 
the most gracious manner, and frequently met 
the chief in the village afterwards with his device 
in full force on his face. 

Many of these Indians had brought furs for 
sale, which were paid for, against law, in rum. 

There were, on our arrival, 700 Indians en- 






camped on the beach, and many more i!?ere 
expected. The same night showed us the Indian 
character in very unpleasing colours. 

A grand drinking-bout then took place accord- 
ing to custom. It began early in the afternoon. 
Soon after d^rk, voices began to be loud among 
the wigwan^s. Indians were rushing about, the 
women" afte| them, with lights, in great agitation, 
hurrying to hide guns and knives. An uproar 
now and then rose higher than usual ; one or two 
were stabbed,; and the garrison interfered. To 
go among these infuriated people was not very 
pleasant ; hut as the doctor had to do so, 1 went 
with him on one of his calls ; but all was quiet, 
the conflict was over, the combatants gone— 
asleep, perhaps. We had only to deal with a 
wounded njan and a few grateful women.* 

I beliey'ei that drunkenness from cheap spirits 
has a demdniacal energy of its own, quite distinct 
from the drowsy exaltation produced by beer or 

* The greater part of the Ottawa nation now reside on the Grand 
ManitouUne. Whether their removal was wise I douht much, but 
they may have had strong political reasons. They have moved 
into a severer climate, to an insular position, and probably to a 
worse soil. But they are increasing in numbers. They have 
become stationary, and subsist on a rude husbandry and fishing. 
In 1845 they $ent our schooner loads of fine maple sugar for sale 
at Detroit. Tte occupation of making maple sugar exactly suite an 




I did not stay long at Ollier's Harbour, but 
embarked in a merchant-sloop for Detroit, in the 
strait of that name, which connects Lakes Huron 
and Erie. 

As it is desirable to place in a connected whole 
all my observations on Lake Huron, allow me to 
state, that in the summer previous to this I found 
myself in his Majesty's schooner Confiance, then 
employed in transporting from place to place the 
officers of the British Boundary Commission. 

Our two astronomers and their stag's were 
directed to make a trigonometrical survey of the 
north-west arm of Lake Huron. In the perform- 
ance of this duty we spent the summer, encamped 
in various places,— at Encampment Douce, at the 
foot of the East Nibish Rapids, on the south point 
of St. Joseph and the islets on its east, in Portlock 
Harbour on the north main, in the Pelletau Nar- 
rows, and on the Little Manitou. 

Our surveyors being numerous and able, the 
work proceeded at a rapid rate. 

I shall not enter into any further details 
merely geographical. The accompanying map 
and sketches render this unnecessary. 

With correct maps, soundings, and information 
as to the agricultural or public value of the 
islands, there was no difficulty in determining 




the boundary line, or in giving for such determi- 
nation a satisfactory reason. 

I employed my leisure in the examination of 
the geology of the country, and in the collection 
of insects. I m(;t with ninety new species of insects 
and two new genera. They have been described, 
and some of them figured, by the Rev. W. Kirby, 
F.R.S., in th| " Fauna Boreali- Americana " of 
Sir John Richardson. A list of them will be found 
in the Appendix. 

It was remarkable, that when I had to all ap- 
pearance exhausted any given locality, the insect 
population of the next station, ten or fifteen miles 
distant, consisted one half of new species, and so 
on from place to place,— and this, perhaps, from 
a difference ini the vegetation and in the season of 
the year. 

Compassion — deep and irresistible — has made 
me forswear the occupation of the entomologist, 
whose very mercies are the cruelties of other men, 
whether he kill by scalding water or the red-hot 
iron wire. 

I glued to a tray, in a dark charnel-house of 
1200 dead insects, a large and beautiful butterfly, 
of a sky-blue colour, supposed to be dead. There 
it was during six months of travel. When I ex- 
amined my treasures at Quebec, on my return, 
tbia imprisoned Peri slowly raised and gently 


















.^ ' 


. V ' 





shook its wings to greet the returning light. Was 
not this a torture to be shuddered at? 

We remained for three weeks at Encampment 
Douce, where our tents were thirteen in number, 
on a sandy point, near a perpendicular rock. The 
heat was intense (109°J Fabr. in tlie shade on 
two occasions), but the situation accounted for it. 

We were devoured with mosquitoes. The 
scenery was open, varied, and agreeable. {Vide 

Plate.) ' 

As I was geologising alone one day on the out- 
skirts of a small woody island near this place, I 
was suddenly startled by a violent crashing among 
the underwood within, followed by a loud plunge 
into the lake. It was a bear. Bears are not 
dangerous, except they fancy they cannot escape. 
This reminded me of the poor idiot at a log-hut 
on the St. Lawrence, among the Thousand 
Islands, where I was resting. He came run- 
ning hastily home, crying out that he had almost 
seen a bear. "What makes you thmk so. 
Tommy ?" said his mother. " I saw his smoking 
leavings," replied the boy. 

We were ten days at Fort St. Joseph (a ruin on 
the South Point), spreading our triangles over 
the neighbouring archipelago of islands. A mile 
to the east of this point I found large quantities 
of olivine in basalt. As this spot is marshy, and 


u t 



surrounded with 
insect harvest was 


flourishing young woods, the 
plentiful. ~^~ 

An odd incident partly occurred here. 

A little river runs for a mile or so on the edge 
of this marsh. Lieut. Grant and myself were en- 
tomologising near our tents when a splendid and 
quite new butterfly sprang up. We pursued it 
eagerly for a good way along the river-side, mak- 
ing many an useless dash at the prize, when the 
insect darted across the stream and escaped. 

Casting our eyes to the ground, we saw the 
olivine, and instantly fell to work in taking speci- 
mens. All this titne, unknown to us, there were 
Indians in the wpods on the other side of the 
river, following our every step in perfect amaze- 
ment, persuaded that we were mad. And why ? 
Because we chased a poor insect, — lost it, — and 
in our impotent rage were smiting the dumb 
rocks. They intended to seize and convey us to 
our friends ; but seeing that we afterwards be- 
came calm, they t-efrained. 

Of these kind people, and their intentions, I 
only heard accidentally two years afterwards in a 
public stage-coach in the state of New York, 700 
miles to the southieast ! A gentleman was enter- 
taining his fellowfpassengers very cleverly with 
the little story, afid was greatly amazed by my 
telling him that I tvas one of the butterfly-hunters. 








Near the Old Fort we built a large and hand- 
some bower, as a dining and work room, as well 
as for a temporary church on Sundays, — the con- 
gregation consisting of five or six gentlemen, 
eight or ten blue-jackets, our servants, and some 
boatmen, among whom were Roman Catholics. 

The sacred day was always kept with great 
propriety, and the services gladly attended. 

I am of opinion that our sequestered and con- 
templative mode of life was more favourable (for 
a time) to the growth of the Christian dispositions 
than the formal attendance on church duties 
in cities (by no means, however, to be lightly 
spoken of), surrounded by the temptations, dis- 
tractions, and anxieties of civilised life. David's 
most spiritual psalms were written in the desert. 

If a man have any, the least, religious tenden- 
cies, they will be awakened in an American 
wilderness. The Creator and the Preserver feel 
wonderfully near in the thunder, the gale, and 
the snow-storm. 

Of the scenery about Portlock Harbour and 
the south-east point of St. Joseph, the plates are 

We disturbed a bear at each of these places, 
and endeavoured with great zeal, but unsuccess- 
fully, to catch and eat them. 

The little island on which I was encamped 
alone, off the south-east point, was singularly 




infested with red ants. There was hardly a spot 
free. They swarmed in ii](y tent and bed. But 
out-door fatigue enabled me to sleep in spite of 
this crawling annoyance. The ants of Lake 
Huron are of various kinds, — some very large. 

Our encampment on th^ Little Manitou Island 
was characteristic and snug. It was on the north 
side, nearly in the middle, on a dry, sheltered 
knoll, eight or ten feet high, overlooking a boat- 
cove, itself within a small round bay, where a 
schooner or two might ancl^or. 

Here we passed three happy and busy weeks,— 
the surveyors at their field-work,— myself scaling 
every accessible precipice, and wandering from 
beach to beach. 

We cleared a sufficient site for tents, formed 
other habitations, more fragrant, from branches of 
pine— squaring huge seats from their trunks for 
fireside seats,— and such fires! The untravelled 
English cannot conceive their wasteful immensity. 
Although it was only September, the lake now 
was stormy and cold ; we wpre therefore glad, as 
evening drew in, to have scj comfortable a nook, 
—the Confiance, with her amiable commander, in 
the little haven, and we listening to the gusty 
winds and labouring trees in pleasurable security. 
The smoke from our fires, our white tents, and 
the various movements, one «Iay brought to us a 
bald-headed eagle, who inspected us long from 


the highest bough of a fine oak— in fact until 
observed by our idle purveyor, a Canadian of 
sporting propensities. 

He and I crept round the cove and got under 
the tree. Twice we fired without even disturbing 
the bird's steady gaze ; but the third shot brought 
him down dead. It was a barbarous act. He 
was large, richly-plumaged,-how broad from tip 
to tip of his wings we will not say ; but we greatly 
admired and then ate him. ( 

During our stay here I accompanied the sur- 
veyors to the Grand Manitouline Island, eight 
miles from our encampment. It is separated 
from the Little Manitou by the strait called the 
Third Detour, eight miles long by four broad, an 
open water, with a clear and unobstructed lake 
at either outlet. 

The west end of the Grand Manitou is of a dif- 
ferent and more majestic character than any part 
of Lake Huron that I have seen. i 

At the north end of the strait the shores sweep 
in easy curves, lined with stairs of shingle, sup- 
ported behind by ascending woods. 

Towards its centre, ledges and low precipices 
begin to appear along the beaches, which at 
length rise to the elevation of 200 feet and more, 
crowned with cedar and pine. Their height is 
either strictly perpendicular, or is attained by piles 




of displaced masses, each frtom twenty to thirty 
feet in diameter, resting pell-mell upon each 
other. These great blocks adivance into the water, 
and with the help of the pebbles, which gather 
round them, afford a hazardous and toilsome 
path over their slippery faces, under arches, and 
through winding passages. The woods here are 
impassable from fallen trees, ifissures, and narrow 
ravines, mantled over with ah enormous growth 
of mosses and creeping plants. 

Within half a mile of the south-east angle of 
the Detour these great masses lie horizontally one 
upon another, fitting in prQtty accurately, and 
extend far into the interior, 9s a naked platform 
intersected and surrounded by luxuriant woods. 

The extreme neatness and regularity of these 
natural terraces, their isolate^ tufts of flowering 
shrubs, their waving borders of foliage, and their 
gloomy alleys, seem to realise the fairy scenes of 
old romance, and produce a feeling of unwonted 
awe and expectation. 

I ventured among them, in search of fossils, as 
far as I dared. There was a sort of old-fashioned, 
prim decay about them, whjch reminded me of 
the gardens of Haddon Hall. 

On the morning of the 27th of September we 
left our pleasant cove for the River St. Clair, 
having completed the Lake Huron surveys. 




During the day we lay off the Third iDetour 
waiting for a breeze. There had been\h.eavy 
rain. A thick white mist was curling in patches 
over the woody slopes close to us. About three 
P.M. came the desired wind, and we set forth to 
pass down the Detour, but scarcely were we half- 
way through, when we perceived very foul wea- 
ther a-head, in the south, with occasional gleams 
of lightning. We immediately put about, and 
ran behind the Little Manitou for security. 

This thunder-storm did not, as far as I saw, like 
those under the equator, first appear at the edge 
of the horizon, a small sooty cloud, and gradually 
cover the heavens, with driving rain and incessant 
discharges of electricity; but it was formed by 
the meeting, from several quarters of the sky, of 
clouds, piled and voluminous, — one being much 
the largest. They descended low, with a flat 
under-surface, just cutting off (out of sight) the 
tops of the pines on the heights near us. 

The clouds themselves moved slowly, but occa- 
sionally we saw in them a rapid internal wreath- 
ing and rolling, with a continual building up, for a 
instants, of new shapes and structures. 

The thunder came, but in prolonged re- 
verberations, traversing and retraversing great 

It was near sunset, a patch of sky in the west 




being clear. Each flash of Iheet lightning, as 
it descended from the upper sky, enriched and 
brightened the momentarily translucent clouds 
with the most lovely colours imaginable, princi- 
pally yellow, red, and bistre. I 

The lightning was seldom forked, but both in 
sheets and in straight columns, striking upon the 
woods and waters perpendicularly. 

Although I could not always look upon this in- 
teresting scene, for now and then the flashes were 
orerpoweringly vivid, I noticed that they only 
silvered the outer leafy surface of the trees, with- 
out going deeper, as tiie light of day does. 

As our little vessel was under good cover, we 
only saw the hurricane blackening the lake at a 
safe distance. Some little rocl^ing we had ; and 
the rain fell heavily and straight down, rebound- 
ing from the water in grey spikes six inches high. 
We were in the thick of the storm about dusk, 
and it lasted two or three hours^* I went to bed, 
and on rising next morning found that we were 

* Lake Huron is celebrated for its terrific thunder-storm, 
(pouchette, "Topog. of the Canadas"). They are generaUy far 
more formidable in North America than in England. It is for this 
reason that the chief private houses and public buildings in the 
Umted States and elsewhere are armed with Ughtning-rods 

In August 1821, Quebec was visited by an electric storm of 
great violence. This city stands high and exposed, and its 
houses and churches have metalUc roofs and window-shutters. 
On this occasion the lightning was incewnt, and ran in thin 





through the Detour, and some miles on our way 
to the River St. Clair, distant 160 miles almost 
due south. 

The weather was yet threatening and the lake 
sullen. The waves were short and high, so that 
not a few of us were miserably sea-sick. 

sheets about the roofs from comer to comer, as if desiring to leap 
down, but dared not. The needles of some ladies, in the act of 
sewing, were pointed with pencils of electricity. Several lives 
were lost, besides much damage done. Great numbers were seized 
with vomitings during the storm. 

As might have been expected from the greater heat in the sum- 
mers of the Canadas, and other meteorological conditions, thunder- 
storms are violent and frequent. Col. Sabine, F.R.S., in his Report 
on the Meteorological and Terrestrial Magnetism of Toronto, U. C. , 
has noted many particulars respecting the thunder-storms of that 
place during the years 1841, 1842. These I have consolidated 
into two tables, to be found in the Appendix. 

From them it appears that in 1841 there were twenty-two of 
what we mean by thunder-storms ; and that of these ten were very 
violent. Sheet lightning also occurred five times alone. 

In 1842 there were eighteen thunder-storms, of which nine were 
Tery severe ; besides sheet lightning once, and two distant but 
audible thunder-storms. 

The following little table will show the monthly distribution of 
the storms : — , 














* 1842 
















I am not aware that any similar tables for Lower Canada or the 
United States exist. 




We were in a great expanse of fresh water, 
without reef, shoal, or island in our path. On 
our left was the long, high teri^ace of the Grand 
Manitouline, with a few islajnds (the Ducks) 
close to them. But we soon left that fine island 
astern, and obliquely neared the southern or 
United States' shore of the lake, si^htino- it a 
little west of Thunder Bay. We scudded along- 
side its low forests, its sand-beaches and ledges of 
limestone, until we again lost sight of land for a 
short time as we crossed the mouth of the great 
bay of Saguenay, twenty-five miles across and 
forty-five miles deep, and off which Colonel Bonny- 
castle says, that leads have been sunk 1800 feet 
without finding bottom, that is, 1200 feet below 
the level of the sea. The fine river Saguenay 
enters Lake Huron at the bottoiii of this bay. It 
is 180 yards broad for twenty-foujr miles (Rev. Mr. 
Hudson, missionary to the Saguenay Indians), 
flowing through a level and heavily-timbered 
district. It then divides into three small, wind- 
ing branches, one of which is called Flint River. 
The River Saguenay is 120 mile^ from Detroit by 
land, and more than 200 by the lake.* 

We neared the south angle of this bay, Point 
aux Barques ; and as we ran dowjn the sandy, low 

* Sir John Richardson informs me, that prery recently extensive 
coal-fields have been discovered in Saguena^ Bay. 




coast, to the mouth of the River St. Clair, we did 
not omit to notice, half-way down, the well-known 
" White Rock," a large, erratic block. 

We were delighted to enter the smooth and 
transparent St. Clair, the American Fort Gratiot, 
low, white, and trim, on our right hand, and the 
marshes of Port Sarnia on the left, now (1849) 
occupied by a busy population. 

Storm-tossed as we had been in Huron, the 
still waters of St. Clair were most grateful. 

After a parting look at the angry surges of the 
lake, and having again, for a moment, listened to 

2 rough music, we forthwith began those repar- 
3ns in cleanliness, costume, and creature-com- 
forts, which our tortured heads and stomachs did 
not previously permit. 


«-> , 




Brief Description-Boat-voyago from St. Maxy to Grand Portege 
by the North Shore- River St. Mary-Gros Cap -Maple 
Ulands-Disaster recorded -Marmoaze- River Montrerf^- 
Copper Mines - Huggewong Bay - Pomt Gargantu* - The 
pJJries - Michipicotou Bay, River, Fort - The Goat - Fme 
Llery -Gloomy River -Indians, Otter's Head _ In^ 
Ro«iI.rk-A Rnn on Sho«=-TheRavu.e-Cnnons Fr^ 
^r Animals-Basalt Dykes-Peek Rxver and I^--Th« 
Zwa- Mist -Wind-bound at the Black River -Wnttea 
Ss-Snow again -Nipigon Bay and Islands -Mammelle 
Si_Black Bay-Thunder Mountain - Count Andnam - 
Fortwilliam — To Grand Portage among fine Scenery. 

pheumisartJ observations. 
Lake Superior, also called " Keetcheegahmi" and 
« M ississawgaiegon" in Certain Indian districts, and 
"Bourbon" formerly by the French, is contained by 
west longitude 84° 18' and 92° 19'; and by the 
north latitude 46° 26' and 49° 1'. 

It is placed to the soqth of, and near to the ridge 
of high lands which, stretching from the Rocky 


Mountains to Lake Superior in broad plains and 
undulations, divides the waters flowing into the 
Mexican Gulf from those of Hudson's Bay ; and 
which proceeds from near Lake Superior eastward 
to the coast of Labrador in a continuous range of 
shattered and often denuded hills ; then consti- 
tuting the northern dividing ridge of the valley of 
the St. Lawrence. 

From near the west end of the lake this ridge 
(no longer an undulating plain) is lost on the 
south and east in the elevations of the United 
States ; but still affords a connected series of suc- 
cessively descending levels for the St. Lawrence, 
its chain of lakes and magnificent tributaries. 
Lake Champlain and the Ottawa and Saguenay 

Lake Superior occupies an irregularly oblong 
basin, whose length lies east and west, and amounts 
on its south side to 541 statute miles, as ascer- 
tained by Mr. Astronomer Thompson by a patent 
log. This measurement commences from Point 
Iroquois at the mouth of the River St. Mary 
(communicating with Lake Huron), passes the 
outskirts of all bays, except when their breadth 
renders the crossing unadvisable, and, rounding 
Point Keewawoonan, terminates at the month of 
the River St. Louis at the Fond du Lac. 

The sum of the canoe-courses round the lake is 



1155 miles, always avoiding the bays, and espe- 
cially Black Bay (no|th coast), which .s itself 
ninety miles round. ^ 

Captain Bayfield, R.i, following the smuosities 
of Z coasts more ck,sely, makes the circum- 
ference of Lake Superior to be 1 ^^0 "ides, and its 
length in a curved line through its centre 420 
„.il!s, its extreme breadth opposite the River Peek 
l,eing 163 miles. It dies not appear so broad n 
h map as in mine, ft is thus by far the largest 
in Asia, although 410 miles long, is only forty m 

avprasre breadth. 

Of the south shore thus measured a few words 
xnust be said. It is divided by the pro-ontory of 
Keewawoonan* into two nearly equal parts, the 
eastern of which is Chiefly a concave shore 176 
xniles lone. (Schoolcraft), the remainder consisting 
Tf a arge bay at each end of this gentle but e.ten- 
te curve. The mqst remarkable localities are 
the Pictured Rocks and Grand Isle, which abound 
in singular and beautiful scenery. . „ . , 

The Huron group and other, near Gramte Po.n 
are almost the only iflands on this of Pomt 

^ eeUent authority in the orthography of Indian words. 



Keewawoonan. There are 139 rivers and creeks 
on the whole south shore, but fewer in this the 
eastern division than in the western. | 

Keewawoonan is a rocky promontory, with three 
principal summits, from forty to forty-five miles 
long, and from fifteen to seventeen miles in its 
greatest breadth, which is at the Portage. Its 
length lies north-east, and it tapers almost to a 
point at its extremity. | 

This great headland is, in fact, a peninsula con- 
nected with the mainland by a portage 2000 
yards long. The waters giving it this character 
are a small river and lake. 

Vast deposits of copper ore are in the neigh- 
bourhood, of which we need only say in this place 
that, according to a Wisconsin newspaper, a rail- 
lion and a half pounds of nearly pure copper were 
shipped from hence in the first eight months of 


From Point Keewawoonan, westwards, the shore 
passes nearly W. S. W. with a waving outline to 
the strongly-marked headland immediately north 
of Point Cheguimegon, and fronted by the little- 
known cluster of islands named after the Twelve 
Apostles. Here the Fond du Lac commences. 

Rivers are very numerous in this part of the 
lake ; but the shore is of moderate height, except 
where the Porcupine Hills approach the lake in 





longitude 90°. Travellers make these hills from 
1000 to 1800 feet high.* 

Of the north shor^ of Lake Superior we need say 
nothing here, as it \i sketched with suificient mi- 
nuteness in the course of this Excursion. 
I Lake Superior may be considered to be 593J 

feet above the surface of the Atlantic. 

I cannot learn that any gradual diminution is 
taking place in the quantity of its water. The 
contrary might be presumed, from its receivmg 
the contents of 220 rivers and brooks, some ot 
them of great size, and from its having only one 
outlet.t Ninety yfars, however, have produced 
no change at the j^rand Portage, where such an 
event would have been readily detected. 

The appearances on the coasts indicating re- 
cent drainage are owing to temporary and local 
changes of level caused by storms, or to events 
anterior to historic time. 

The effects of tempests in raising the level ot 
certain parts of the lake are considerable. In 

. I acknowledge with great pleasure the f^^;^'^^^ °j 
Mr. Schoolcraft, now at the head of the Indian departmeat at 
Washington, and his ohliging liberality in th« commmucatu)n of 

if the nutter be considered, is more than one necesswr- La''^ 
wlston, however, in longitude 112° west Pj'f ^ ^^^J^ 
lev^lbetween the waters of Hudson's Bay and of the Arctic Seas.haa 
two. I know of no other case. 



autumn, a westerly gale lasting more than a day 
will sometimes inundate the site of the Hudson's 
Bay storehouses at the Falls of St. Mary. 

Respecting the depth of Lake Superior I have 
little to offer. It is doubtless very deep, judging 
from its steady and uniform coldness. Captain 
Bayfield found 300 and 400 feet a common depth. 
Some distance into the lake he found bottom at 
600 feet. 

The body of the lake never freezes, although 
there is always much firm ice near shore and 
among islands. 

Colonel Delafield found the temperature of the 
water to be 44° Fahr., from an average of many 
observations in June and July, 1823. 

Its depth cools down the water, and this acts 
upon the air, so that Lake Superior is not hot for 
many days together. Captain Bayfield made the 
mean temperature of the air at noon for July and 
August, the two hottest months of the year, to 
be 68°.* This was in Pays Plat, on the north 

Colonel Delafield found ice on the lake on the 
28th of June, and so did the sailing-master of 
Captain Bayfield near the same time the previous 
year. I 

The climate and vegetation of Lake Superior 

• At five A.M. in July, Captain B. found the aar st 33°. 



are almost arctic, although in 47° of north lati- 
tude, and but little to the north of Milan, in Italy. 
It is considerably colder than Sikia, in 57° north 
latitude, the Russian post on the north-west coast 
of America. The reason of ^his seems to be that 
there are, as far as I know, no high mountains 
runnmg east and west to screen this lake from 
the polar winds. The hills U its north for 300 
or 400 miles, which I have seen, are short and 
low, never exceeding 1500 feet in height, and 
their trend and that of their numerous valleys is 
more or less north and southj 

The vegetation on the grJat grey granite and 
gneiss districts of the north shore of Lake Superior 
18 extremely scanty, there being scarcely any soil 
while that of the basaltic and amygdaloidal regions' 
18 diseased and very small, though dense. 

A few observations have been made on the 
height of the basin containing Lake Superior. 

The lowest point of the bart-ier is, of course, at 
Its outlet, St. Mary's. | 

For several miles north and' south of Point Iro- 
quois and Gros Cap the land at the present day 
18 much lower than elsewhere, and does not reach 
400 feet in elevation, while the dividing ridge 
(the summit-level) on the north shore is always 
much higher; as also are certain parts of the south 
shore, if not all. 



The height of land between Lakes Superior and 
Winnepeg (Hudson's Bay) is supposed by Captain 
Lefroy, R.A., to be about 1500 feet, from a mean 
of several barometrical observations* made at 
Coldwater Lake, on the new route to the Lake of 
the Woods, fifty miles direct from Lake Superior. 

The summit level of water at the source of the 
West Savannah River, between the waters of St. 
Louis (Superior) and those of the Mississippi, has 
been estimated at 550 feet in Mr. Schoolcraft's 
narrative, and therefore 1143 feet above the sea, 
seventy miles direct from Lake Superior. 

The highest water-level on the old route to the 
Lake of the Woods is at the portage of the East 
Lake of the height of land, twenty-four miles 
direct from Lake Superior, and about 1207 feet 
above the sea by estimate. 

The height of land is seldom very distant from 
the lake, and the remark may be extended to the 
lower lakes, Huron, &c. 

Making use of the best accessible map of the 
vicinity of the Lake Superior, that of Major Long 
(James's " Expedition to the Rocky Mountains"), 
the sources of all the rivers on the south shore 
are within sixty miles of the lake, measured in a 
straight line. On the north shore, the interval 

• Journal of Geographical Society, London, vol. XTi. p. 263. 




between the lake and thfe summit-level is rery 

We now return to the astronomer of the Boun- 
jc^i,\ dary Commission and hisl party of surveyors at 
the Falls of St. Mary. 

We left him on his voyage to the Lake of the 
Woods ; but, having now returned, we shall not 
leave him again until the etid of the Excursion. 

Having had our boat carted by oxen across the 
British Portage, we commenced on the 10th of 
June, 1823, our coasting vOyage, so rarely made 
now, along the north shores of Lake Superior as 
far as the Grand Portage, a distance of 445 miles. 

The River St. Mary is a truly American stream 
in size and aspect. The banks, from one milelto 
one and a third apart, consist of marshes and fine 
woods of pine, maple, elm, &c. I 

We had to stem a moderate current for the first 
two miles upwards, when it ceased to be percep- 
tible, and we were soon at our sleeping-place, 
Pine Point, six miles and a half from St. Mary's. 
It shelters a rather deep 
harbour for schooners. 

Pine Point is broad and' 
bonrhood sandy, wet, and ijiuch overgrown with 
aquatic plants. I 

Standing on this point, thinly clad with pines. 

bay and convenient 
low, and the neigh- 




and looking down the river back upon the country 
just left, we have before us a striking landscape — 
a broad sheet of water flowing through woods, and 
disappearing at St. Mary's in a sunken forest ren- 
dered grey by distance. On the left we have a 
long line of blue hills stretching towards the north 
shore of Lake Huron. On the right nothing is 
seen but the woods of the river-side. 

We were sorely mosquito-bitten at Pine Point. 
The whole party heard the shout of "Alerte!" our 
usual morning reveillez, with vast content. 

Above this point the River St. Mary suddenly 
widens, and seven and a half miles westerly brings 
us to its head, guarded on the north by Gros Cap, 
and on the south by Point Iroquois. 

Banks and beaches of reddish sand frequently 
line the shore, derived from the sub-rock. 

Point Iroquois is a somewhat lofty and com- 
manding promontory densely covered with trees. 
It is several miles apart from its fellow, Gros 

We breakfasted under Gros Cap, among its 
debris, using a large fallen mass of rock for our 
table. I 

If I am to speak of my own feelings, they were 
greatly excited by having realised the wish of 
many a year, to sail on the waters of Lake 
Superior. The prospect is in itself beautifully 








wild ; but it becotties magnificent when we reflect 
on the size, celebrity, and remoteness of this body 
of fresh water. 

The spectator stands under shattered crags more 
than 300 feet high, with an apparently boundless 
flood before him. A low island is in front. Point 
Iroquois is on the gouth, a terraced hill ; while on 
the north and north-west a picturesque and high 
countrj' js somewhat faintly visible. 

Lake Superior differs widely from Lake Huron 
in having a more regular outline, in havino- but 
few islands, in the grander features of its coasts, 
and in its geological structure, which, as far as 
I know, have no parallel in America. We 
have here the advantage of plenty of named 

Gros Cap includel the rocky hills constituting 
the east shore of th^ lake for four miles from the 
River St. Mary, whjch then sinks into a rugc^ed 
slope enveloped in sk-ubbery. Both ends are well 

These hills are of pilicious porphyry, in knolls 
and crags, piled upo^ each other to the height of 
from 400 to 700 feet, a mile from the south end 
or headland, but are lower elsewhere, and usually 
dip into the lake by advanced ledges or scarps. 

These hills are often bare, but mostly they are 
covered with dwarf pine, aspen, coppice, and 




flowers. Near the north end there is a small but 
showy cascade dashing over the rocks. 

The general course of this, the east coast of the 
lake, from Gros Cap to the River Michipicotou 
(125 miles by canoe route) is about a point to the 
west of north. 

The most conspicuous promontories in this inter- 
val are Marmoaze,* forty-one miles from St. Mary's 
River, and Gargantua, ninety-three miles from 
St. Mary's. These are the outer points of great 
curvatures, which contain subordinate bays of 
considerable size. Just within the most southern 
of these, the Goulais,or Gale Bay of the voyageurs, 
we passed the night of June 11. f | 

Early next morning we crossed the mouth of 
the bay, and made for the lesser Maple Islands, 
leaving behind us the greater island of this name, 
sometimes called " Parisien," loaded with timber. 
The last-mentioned is three miles north-west of 
Gros Cap. The three others (with Green Island) 
resemble it, and are based upon horizontal sand- 

We breakfasted on one of the lesser Maple 
Islands. I 

* A Chippewa word, signifying " an assemblage," and here re- 
ferring to islets and reefs. It is the Memince of the voyageuri. 

t At 5 A.M., June 8, the thermometer stood at 30° Fahr., so 
that we had no fear of mosquitoes. 






Everything looked innocent and pretty : the 
transpareint shallows washed the very tree-roots, 
and extended far into the lake. Any thought of 
danger seemed absurd ; and yet it was here that 
two welUmanned canoes of the North-west Com- 
pany were cast ashore about the year 1815, and 
nine persons drowned. Among the saved were 
Mr. W. M'Gilvray (my Araphytrion at Montreal) 
and Dr. M'Loghlin, many years Governor of Fort 

We must suppose that the disaster commenced 
some distance from land, and that the winds drove 
the canoes upon this strond. 

We n^xt come to the Batchewine Bay, deep 
and largi?, with a flat island, called Green Island, 
on its north side, and lofty hills overhanging it . 
but the interior on the south and west is low 
and woody. 

In September, on our return, we were glad of a 
couple of pigeons shot here ou the main in the 
bay succeeding that of Batchewine. 

The south-east arm of Batchewine Bay is lined 
with horizontal white sandstone in low ledges at 
the various points, but elsewhere by sand-banks, 
extendiiig into dense woods of poplar and spruce, 
which are backed by hills of imposing outlines, 
from 700 to 900 feet high. A winding river, fifty 
feet broad, enters at the bottom. 




I observed on the sides of the nearer hills three 
patches of winter-snow not yet melted ; and at 
our dining-place, near the north angle of this bay 
(the first south of Marmoaze), we met with a 
singular but not unprecedented freak of Nature— 
a solitary pine growing upon the upper surface of 
a large cubic block of Marmoaze pudding-stone, 
which itself rested upon four granite bowlders. 
The block must have weighed forty tons, and was 
from twelve to fifteen feet square. 

From near this place the main continues for 
four miles and a half, rocky, and tolerably straight 
to Point Marmoaze; the interior being woody 
and rather low. 

There are three or four islets surrounded by 
reefs and scattered rocks near the point. 

Gros Cap, and even Whitefish Point, on the 
south-east shore of the lake, are visible from hence, 
with Point Iroquois between them, looking like 
an island. 

Point Marmoaze* is an interesting spot, and 
yields indications of copper. With little search 
on my part I found several small masses of copper 
pyrites, and of the green carbonate ; and we know 
that, many years ago, an English Company worked 

• The minerals I met with at Marmoaie are interesting. T%ey 
are apophyllite, zeolite, cornelian, agate, lanmonite, calcedony, 
stilbite, amethyst, rock crystal, prehnite, calcspar. 


r .' 



some deposits of copppr ore on the neighbouring 
river Montreal.* 

Point Marmoaze, and its vicinity for seven miles 
northerly, consists of trap, vesicular, amygdaloidal 
and compact in parts ; all interleaved with pud- 
ding-stone, of rounded masses of granite, trap, 

I Ijee 

* A mining company has Ijeen formed at Montreal, with Sir G. 
Simpson for its Governor, Hcjn. G. Moffat, Hon. P. M'GiU, W. C. 
Meredith, Esq., and J. Crin^an, Esq., Directors, to work the cop- 
per mines on the north shore of Lake Superior, of which Marmo- 
aze is one district. 

This Company (the Montrtal Mining Company) held their first' 
general meeting of shareholders on the 16th of Novemher, 1847, 
Sir G. Simpson in the chair, 

Mr. Forest Shepherd, practical geologist, and mineral explorer 
of the Company, who had ju»t returned from Lake Superior, pre- 
sented to the trustees " a systematic and minute geological diagram 
of the coast of Lake Superior, from St. Mary's to Pigeon's River, 
a distemce of more than 500 miles." Upon this work of labour 
and science a party of seventeen men, with competent geologists 
and surveyors, had been employed all the season, from the opening 
of the navigation until the month of November. 

Specimens of the ore from separate localities belonging to the 
Montreal Mining Company were examined at the Assay Office, 
Gresham Street, London, September 2, 1846 : — 
No. 1, Copper, 85 per cent. 
2, do. 73 „ 
do. 61 „ 
do. 16 „ 
and about 44 per cent of silver. 

The Quebec and Lake Superior Mining Company (Johnson and 
Sons) have also copper mines on the north shore, whose ores yield 
about 33 per cent of copper. 

Sixteen or seventeen locations for copper mining, each consisting 
of a tract two miles by ten, have been made. 





amygdaloid, and sandstone, from a size invisible 
to the naked eye, to that of some square feet. 
The shore, therefore, assumes a peculiar aspect. 
It is iron-bound, from ten to one hundred feet 
high, and scooped into windovplike holes, arches, 
and shallow caves. j 

A considerable way into the lake are rugged 
islets, with short jagged needles of rock here and 
there. In two places on the main the pudding- 
stone breaks into right-angled blocks, thirty feet 
square, mounted one upon another. The effect 
upon the eye, with its dark tawny colour, and 
large differently-coloured bowlders, is new and 

From Point Marmoaze we crossed a shallow 
bay, seven miles wide. Its rocky shores are only 
high on the north side, and there they are of gra- 
nite. Its north cape (with an isle in front) is a 
massive and lofty bluff. It is followed, northerly, 
by a second bay, three miles and a half across, 
with very high angles, and an elevated interior ; 
— the margin of the bay being sand and gravel. 

This is now called Mica Bay ; the picturesque 
village of that name being just within the northern 
headland, called Pont aux Mines, about ten miles 
south of Montreal River. 

About 100 people were employed at the mines 
here in September last. There is another mining 

VOL. II. o 





some deposits of copper ore on the neighbouring 
river Montreal.* 

Point Marmoaze, and its vicinity for seven miles 
northerly, consists of trap, vesicular, amygdaloidal 
and compact in parts j all interleaved with pud- 
ding-stone, of rounded masses of granite, trap, 

* A mining company has b«en formed at Montreal, with Sir G. 
Simpson for its Governor, Hoj. G. Moffat, Hon. P. M'Gill, W. C. 
Meredith, Esq., and J. Cringan, Esq., Directors, to work the cop- 
per mines on the north shore p{ Lake Superior, of which Marmo- 
aze is one district. 

This Company (the Montreal Mining Company) held their first 
general meeting of shareholders on the 16th of November, 1847, 
Sir G. Simpson in the chziir, 

Mr. Forest Shepherd, practical geologist, and mineral explorer 
of the Company, who had just returned from Lake Superior, pre- 
sented to the trustees " a systematic and minute geological diagram 
of the coast of Lake Superior, from St. Mary's to Pigeon's River, 
a distance of more than 500 miles." Upon this work of labour 
and science a party of seventeen men, with competent geologists 
and surveyors, held been employed all the season, from the opening 
of the navigation until the mo^th of November. 

Specimens of the ore from separate localities belonging to the 
Montreal Mining Company Were examined at the Assay Office, 
Gresham Street, London, September 2, 1846 : — 
No. 1, Copjper, 85 per cent. 

2, jo. 73 

3, do. 61 „ 

4, fo. 16 „ 
and about 44 per cent of silveB. 

The Quebec and Lake Superior Mining Company (Johnson and 
Sons) have also copper mines on the north shore, whose ores yield 
about 33 per cent of copper. 

Sixteen or seventeen locations for copper mining, each consisting 
of a tract two miles by ten, have been made. 



amygdaloid, and sandstone, from a size invisible 
to the naked eye, to that of some square feet. 
The shore, therefore, assumes a peculiar aspect. 
It is iron-bound, from ten to one hundred feet 
high, and scooped into windowlike holes, arches, 
and shallow caves. I 

A considerable way into the lake are rugged 
islets, with short jagged needles of rock here and 
there. In two places on the main the pudding- 
stone breaks into right-angled blocks, thirty feet 
square, mounted one upon another. The effect 
upon the eye, with its dark tawny colour, and 
large differently-coloured bowlders, is new and 

From Point Marmoaze we crossed a shallow 
bay, seven miles wide. Its rocky shores are only 
high on the north side, and there they are of gra- 
nite. Its north cape (with an isle in front) is a 
massive and lofty bluff. It is followed, northerly, 
by a second bay, three miles and a half across, 
with very high angles, and an elevated interior ; 
— the margin of the bay being sand and gravel. 

This is now called Mica Bay ; the picturesque 
village of that name being just within the northern 
headland, called Pont aux Mines, about ten miles 
south of Montreal River. 

About 100 people were employed at the mines 
here in September last. There is another mining 




establishment in the 

Pays Plat, and a third near 
Pio-eon 'River or Grand Portage, exclusive of 
several on the American shores of the lake. I am 
indebted for this reaent information to Sir John 
Richardson, the distii^guished Arctic traveller, who 
passed through these districts in September 1849. 
We next approach the Bay of Huggewong (or 
Hoguart of the French maps). It is from ten to 
twelve miles across (it its mouth, the south side 
being eight miles Idng, and the northern about 


Off the entrance <t)f this romantic bay lies the 
flat and woody Island of Montreal, from three to 
four miles long. 

The immediate shores of this bay rise for the 
most part suddenly, in steep, round-backed hills, 
precipitous towards the lake, from 400 to 500 feet 
high, and with woody ravines between them. 

Along the outer half of the south side, shingle 
beaches are common, from ten to thirty feet high ; 
with extensive deposits behind them of large and 
small bowlders of the granite of the district, im- 
bedded in sand, both confusedly and in horizontal 


The Montreal River, celebrated for its copper 
ore, enters Huggewong Bay in the middle of its 
south side, in a cove guarded by dark-coloured 
bluffs, it is 150 fe«rt broad at its month, with a 



current of three miles and a half an hour among 
beds of sand and gravel. Six hundred yards from 
the lake there is a cascade, ten feet high, in a 
hollow between two conical hills. 

The bottom of Huggewong Bay is faced with 
sand-banks, which retire in successive stairs a 
mile or two inland. Here the River Huggewong, 
with two others (smaller), enters the lake. The 
Huggewong is large, and near Lake Superior runs 
through low woods ; but farther off, occupies the 
defiles of a rugged country. 

At the south and inner end of the bay there is a 
cliff, 500 feet high, overlooking a terrace of white 
sand,thirty feet high, and half a mile long. Circum- 
stances made this spot, with its sparkling, hospit- 
able beach, its silver birches, and smooth-faced 
precipice, a most welcome haven to us in the midst 
of unapproachable shores and tempestuous waves. 
In September, on our return home, early in the 
grey of the morning, we boldly started to cros 
from the north side of Huggewong direct to 
Montreal River, on the south, a distance of nine 
miles of open and nearly shelterless water. We 
had made two-thirds of our way, and were expect- 
ing soon to reach the river, when suddenly the 
sky and waters darkened, the winds arose, and 
raised such waves that we must have gone to the 
bottom in a canoe. As it was, the danger was 




considerable ; ank we were glad to run some miles 
out of our cours(| into the fair nook just noticed. 
We breakfasted there, and waited until the storm 
had passed by. 

Point Huggewong (sixty-six and a-half miles 
from St. Mary's River) is round, and consists of 
bluflFs and cliffs, dipping from shattered and 
round-topped eminences 400 to 600 feet in height. 
There are fouij rocky islets with high, sloping 
sides, off this poijit, besides several smaller onet 
around an indentition, an excellent harbour half- 
a-mile from the ejctreme point at the entrance of 
the bay. We here saw on a little cape an Indian 
signal or guide-po6t-a stick fastened to the rock, 
and holding a buqch of grass in its cleft end. It 
pointed in the direction which the Indian's friends 
had taken. | 

From this consjlicuous point to Gargantua, the 
next remarkable headland, the distance is twenty- 
seven miles. The first fifteen of these are slightly 
concave, and are ajlmost entirely of silicious sand. 
The interior is higji. I ascended a hill near the 
lake, 600 feet hi^h, as a panoramic point, I 
hoped; but the prbspect inland was closed in by 
a barrier ofsimilai- elevations. 

The streams are numerous here, the principal 
six miles fiom Point Huo-o-e- 

being the Charon, 

^•ong, and Gravel liver, five miles further north- 



west. Gravel River is sixty yards wide at the 
mouth, with a woody isle close by, and a cascade 
not far distant among the rocks of the main. 

A mile south-east from Gravel River the lofty 
hills of the interior come to the lake, and dip 
into the water for three miles in slopes and 


The remainder of the twenty-seven-niile route 
to Point Gargantua is a naked and rugged coast, 
the outskirts of a high, granitic region. 

Point Gargantua is a prominent feature on the 
east side of Lake Superior. It has a very in- 
dented front, being composed of parallel ridges 
of black amygdaloid, rising one above another in 
retreating succession to the height of from thirty 
to eighty feet, from time to time much dilapi- 
dated ; and with little coves of black sand. 

The granite region, a mile inland, is nearly 
destitute of any vegetation but burnt pines, look- 
ing most desolate ; but the point itself, and the 
parts adjacent, being of amygdaloid, a fertilising 
rock, is clothed with fir, birch, poplar, &c., and 
a profusion of mosses. | 

The River Gargantua issues at the bottom of 
a small bay beset with isles, south of, and con- 
tiguous to the point. 

Gargantua Point has numerous islets scattered 
along its south side, for two or three miles close 



-fV — \^. 



and woody; one, however, havino- 

•■> V- 

in shore, low 

a cliff' 100 feei hi^li. 

Intermixed with these islets, and especially 
lakewards, smlall detached pointed rocks and soli- 
tary ridges rise out of the water naked. One of 
these, a few hundred yards from the point, is a rude 
pyramid from hfty to sixty feet high. Its strange 
shape, dark c(|Iour, and the surrounding gloom, 
have induced the Indians to worship it a^ an idol! 
It has given to the place the name of Gargantua. 
Point Gai^antua may be considered the south 
angle of the great bay of Michipicotou. 

The two sid^s of the bay, together with a line 
drawn across its mouth, form something like an 
equilateral triangle, the north side and base being 
twenty-seven npiles long direct, and the south 
twenty-five mil^s long, while the bottom is four 
miles in length. | 

The south si^e, along which we first travel, is 
broken into several important bays. Capes Choyy6 
and Maurepas being the most remarkable head- 

We were stopped at Gargantna for a day by 
a heavy gale f wind and rain on our return 
home, rather la<e in the season. 

Our astronomer was sitting in the tent, over 
a map, when he suddenly dropped his pencil on 
the paper. Looking up, I saw that the dim curtain 



of reverie had fallen before his eyes, and the lights 
and shadows of former years were playing over 
his hard features. 

After a time I broke into his trance, by asking 
him what he was thinking of, and where he had 
got to? " Got to!" repeated he, mechanically, 
and then said, " Why, if you must know, I was 
once more on the east flanks of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, in my old pursuits, with my old compa- 
nions,— scenes and friends I shall never more see. 
People may fancy and may say what they like, but 
give me a gallop into the natural meadows, the 
glorious hunting-grounds of Central America, with 
their c^ear skies and bracing airs. Let me wan- 
der over parks of bison, deer, and moose feeding 
promiscuously. Let me listen at the close of the 
day to the cries of the wild creatures, as I sit at 
the door of my skin-tent— to the loud whistle of 
the stag, the sullen, gong-like boom of the elk, 
the bellow of the bison, or the wolf-howl. 

" Then comes the buffalo-hunt '. and the well- 
trained Indian horse ! How beautiful to watch 
his motions, prepared for the chase, as he stands 
on a gentle rise, in full view of a herd of bison ! 
His frame erects and stiffens. He paws the turf, 
with his eyes on fire, and his ears pointing to the 
game ; but when put at speed the ears fall back 
and seem lost in the head. H« is directed to 


a cow-bison 



Jeg from time to time a, h. changing 

wl^'of lTJ°c\°°''"'"« '"' *» "«- 

arouse lieLZti'':,'''-' ""''"« «",; deer 

and cultures, take „i„, ,L ^ '" '"«'*'' 

" It M dangerou, to attael . l- 
continaed ^y fritaj. „'',"^ j ^ ^/<>" »» foot." 
paid very dearlji for it ,, *" ^° " °"«. and 
^now. I e„„, „lV J ' "'' '° "■= time of 

feed, .oZtXL !""""' °" ""''"""°'' 
-aWetore^r^e '';r::.'^^''"""'i.e 
iunler never does ... ,T ""•-""* '^^ 
destructioa. ' " "''"'"' '= »'»«' certain 

-do'aXXiTdtr;;^''^ ■'•'''-■»«' 



breath to breath, eye to eye, — aye, and for some 

" At length, feeling that my limbs were freez- 
ing and stiffening, I was meditating the desperate 
step of making a run for it, when an Indian boy 
came in sight, dancing and carolling on a snowy 
knoll. The bull saw him, got up, and staggered 
and floundered to him, as well as he could, as his 
true enemy. The boy, perceiving his danger, 
jumped into a snow-drift, and the bull could not 
find him, although he searched diligently, and 
with many a groan. There the boy remained till 
night. For myself, I could not move at first, so 
thoroughly was I benumbed ; but in the end I 
managed to crawl to the fort. Next morning the 
bull was found dead 300 yards from the snow- 
drift." **#♦*# 

A lofty style of country prevails in this part 
of Lake Superior ; the hills rising in steps or 
ledges, or in slopes covered with foliage, or again 
in vertically- fissured precipices. The immediate 
shores are rocky, and often high. 

At Cape Choyye (where we saw, on the 14th 
of June, two masses of hard snow at water-mark) 
the rocks are vertical, and cut up into ravines; 
but within the lesser curvatures there are exten- 
sive beds of sand and bowlders. 

All this region is very picturesque, but espe- 

? ! 



cially the bay south of Cape Maurepas. Its 
shores are |a confused and steep assemblage of 
high rocks. A beautiful cascade near the bottom 
pours a ribbon-like stream from height to height, 
and so into the lake. This spot reminded me of 
some scenes in the Cape de Verd Islands, where 
we have thej same bare red crumbling rocks. 

The innej third of this side of Michipicotou 
Bay is comiparatively straight, often in scarps, 
and very lotfty in the interior. Three or four 
miles from the bottom there is a cape, from which 
canoes usually cross to Point Perquaquia, on the 
north side «J»f the bay, a headland projecting a 
mile into the lake, and about 400 feet high. We 
did not make this traverse. 

The sandy bottom of this bay receives the River 
Michipicotoa, which is large and long, and is the 
nearest way from hence to Moose Fort, in Hud- 
son's Bay. We went a short distance up the 
river to the Hudson's Bay Company's fort there. 

We found the neighbourhood flat, but dark 
hills were discernible in the distance ; and among 
them, from the lake, we distinctly saw a ridge of 
sugar-maple trees many miles long. It goes, 
with breaks, as far as St. Mary's River, at the 
distance of fen, fifteen, twenty miles from the 
lake. There is another, which stretches from the 
Perdrix Falli, near the Grand Portage, to the 



Fond du Lac. Those extensive groves of sugar- 
maple are highly prized by the Indians. 

I was glad to see a fur-trading establishment. 
This consists of a low wooden house, substantially 
built, for the officer in charge, a storehouse or 
two, a line of low dwellings for the servants and 
their families, put together in a hollow square, so 
as to be defensible in case of need. There are 
often a few lodges of Indians on the sand-drifts 
close by, with furs for sale. 

To my young servant and myself the important 
duty of setting up our tent was intrusted; and it bad 
been left on the sand-bank for that purpose ; but, 
on leaving the fort to do it, we found a very large 
he-goat in full possession, standing on it and 
stamping defiance at all intruders. When we 
came near, he ran full butt at us, and we were 
more than once near being much injured. But 
he was merciful, and after his plunge upon us 
always i*etnrned triumphant, to pace over our 
prostrate tent. I was much ashamed; but thought 
it best to lay the case before the superintendant, 
who sent a man to bring Taffy to his senses, which 
was speedily done. 

I need not say that we were made very wel- 
come by Mr. Macintosh. He gratified us with 
some good milk. The cows here, as in Lower 
Canada, are frequently fed upon fish. 




CO.OU .„ alr:'\: 72'"°™ '» «chipi. 
i""c, ana not to sr)pn»? r»„ au- 
occasion, Mr M H,-,i , , ^ ^° ^'''^ 

served meat; which we hrr^T '" ' P''^" 

■ ally in Lake i * ! ^r dmner occasion- 

won level of thL l«t V . ^ ""^^''^ ^''« com- 

ncls and approachmg waves. The waters 

and their families, under ^7^^ ^e tropics, fiJi of soldiers 
attacked with dyse;te^:;i^2;f t^'^' "^'^"^ ^^--^y 
In the course of three or 'C dl^^J ^^ T' "'""^ P°''^'-'«- 
'I'err 750 pounds of DoniIn"stl ,'"''' ^""^ t^e sol- 
-«ed. We landed si. C^L ZZ""^ ""'' '"•" *« 'J--- 
Hope, a healthy ship. "^"^'^'^ ^' '''« Cape of Good 



had risen four feet in a very few hours, and 
would soon have been in our beds had we not 
removed in the midst of storm and darkness to a 
higher position. 

The next morning (Sunday, June 15) we left 
Fort Michipicotou; but a high wind with rain 
prevented us from proceeding further on our 
route than two miles south-east of Point Per- 

We obtained pleasant shelter in a cove among 
mounds of trap. 

We never found detention by storms lo be 
tedious. If it occurred on a week-day, we had 
journals to correct and transcribe, surveying field- 
books to prepare, and personal matters to attend 
to. If, as on this occasion, we were weather- 
bound on Sunday, we had the special comfort of 
the day. We never failed to celebrate Divine 
service every Sabbath, and read a portion of 
Bickersteth on Prayer, or some such book, as a 

Our astronomer, Mr. Thompson, was a firm 
churchman ; while most of our men were Roman 
Catholics. Many a time have I seen these un- 
educated Canadians most attentively and thank- 
fully listen, as they sat upon some bank of 
shingle, to Mr. Thompson, while he read to them 





m most extraordinarily pronounced French, three 
chapters out cif the Old Testament, and as many 
out of the N.W. adding such explanations as 
seemed to him suitable. 

Our treatmjnt of these men had convinced 
them that m all things we meant them well 

The Irish, ori the contrary, think the English 

™ean 111 towarc^s them, but most falsely, at last 
in the present day; and hence the few conver- 
Bj°; among them to the simple faith of the 

The next mofning'at daybreak saw us once 
more progressing by the north side of Michipi- 
cotou Bay. W. found it to maintain a tolerably 
straight westerly course, but full of petty in 


noticed hereaboi^ts, except that they are fewer 
and not so steep. 

From Port Peijquaquia to the Dog River (about 
fourteen miles) the shore is frequently faced by 
deep and extensi e sand-banks. and near thil 
river is gravelly, ^nd forty feet hi-h 

The Dog is thirty feet broad at its 
niouth, but immediately widens within. Six hun- 

dred yards from tfce lake it undergoes a descent 
o twenty-five fee^ by two ledges fn a chte or 
gorge of greenstone slate, whose dark colour. 



and some recent conflagrations, invest this scene 
with peculiar wildness and gloom.* 

From this river to the crags of Michipicotou 
(eight miles) the shore is wholly ledges of rock, 
gradually ascending inland. 

These crags are four miles long. They begin 
and end abruptly, and are bald, shattered rocks, 
steep or precipitous, dipping into the water from 
the height of 150 to 400 feet, the hills, of which 
they are the flanks, being 800 feet, according to 
Captain Bayfield. At their west end, these hills, 
turning northwards, slowly leave the lake shore. 
Here the north side of Michipicotou Bay may 
be said to end. i 

Not far west of these crags, in a dell of consi- 
derable beauty, which permits the escape of a 
noisy stream, we found some Indian families suc- 
cessfully engaged in fishing. We not only ex- 
changed with these civil people many kind words, 
but some tobacco for a very acceptable supply of 
fish. I can readily imagine what passed through 
the minds of these ragged Indians, the natural 
proprietors of the West, when they traced, in the 
pale-faced stranger, the ill-concealed confidence 
of mastership, and saw him laden with a thousand 
things most enviable to them. 

* The Indians bum large tracts of pine barrens in ordw to 
fiiTour the growth of Tery useful autumnal fruits. 



As Lake Superior is not under the pvp1„c- 
oootrol of .he ^„d,.„. Bay Co. ™^' ^ 

.Wo. a.if:::%„-;/™:- -;^ 

Bions, when quarrels arise, they all J„ a 
vrmnan u J "' ™6n and 

«.on of ja.I„„,y it e„„,e™ed. Zlil' " 

leaf „„„k „„ .te .call remains of W, „„,e xt 
iad been recently done. 

'" """"^ P««lof the country I saw a simil.. 
case, bu, of ,„n,e gears' standing "'''^ 

side of this great bay, and twelve miles fron, ,1.1 
^earest «ai„ („„ .he north,, ,ie, ,ke argHland 
of Michipicoton or ^aurepas * 

.bo«?:rxv:ir""° *'*■"'■■' '■°™"- 

••wenty hve njiles on our west. It is from 

o sare,.,i„ ,hab,eo„it.800fee!Mght 

Tho .elescope showed .bat it is printitive Jl' T 
cally speaking. ' S^^g'- 

The interva'l of selenty-Bve miles between tbe 

rags and the ffiver Peek presents bnt two a 
Imes known by „a„e, vi. the Otter's Head 



thirty-four miles ; and the Smaller Written Rocks, 
sixty-one miles from the crags. 

From the crags to Otter's Head the coast 
rounds gradually to the north-west, in a chain of 
steep, bluff hills, scantily clothed, and having 
aspen in the damp hollows. The immediate 
beach is sand or shingle, with here and there a 
steep islet, and reefs in front of a small cape. On 
more than one of these points* we observed the 
Indian road-marks which we noticed atGargantua. 
We cannot particularise the numerous lesser 
curvatures in this part of the lake. Their sand- 
beds are very large, and extend into the interior 
for a mile or more, especially from seven to eleven 
n)iles south-east of Otter's Head, where they are 
150 feet thick, and in two or more terraces. 

The Otter's Head we passed on the 17th of 
June. It is an upright slab, from thirty to thirty- 
five feet high, placed on some scantily-clad rocks, 
120 feet above the lake, and at an interval from 
it, which, though looking small, is much greater 
than it appears. These rocks guard a deep cove, 
with islets in front, one of which is well wooded. 
Soon after leaving the crags, I thought it pos- 
sible to run along the shore and keep abreast of 

* Here we saw a piece of birch bark in the cleft of an upright 
stick, with four white fish drawn on it, and some marks I could 
not make out. 






"1-K.s petter; but smooth as fK» « 
seemed from thp K«at °^ *^°*8t 

«<>«i.d .„"4'X^^:-~- 
We had made but httl^ w«„ *u- 

(J«ne 17), before the w b d bl"^ " "^'""^ 
o»,j • J, ° became so violpnt 

and ra.sed such a boihng sea, that, to my ^^ 
eontem, we were pbliged to put ashore. ' 
Seemg that I had the day before me I set off 

The country consisted of bare rid<rp« «f i.: 
From this pomt I changed my coursp .J 



I was then suddenly brought up by a ravine 
400 or 500 feet deep ; its shelving and shattered 
sides feathered with young shrubs, and its bottom 
a receptacle of great blocks, which had fallen 
from above. The lake was white with foam, the 
few stunted trees bent before the gale. I held 
my hat on with both hands. What did I see in 
the depths of the chasm, but an European figure, 
kneeling, bare-headed, on a flat rock ! His back 
was to the wind — his long, iron-grey locks 
streamed before his face. On getting nearer, I 
saw that it was oar astronomer, who, like Moses 
in the wilderness of Sinai, had escaped from the 
camp to worship the Lord. 

I thought I had been swift, but here was one 
swifter, and on a better errand. It is in such 
utter wastes as Lake Superior, as I have said 
before, that the inner life — the devotional spirit — 
often awakes and labours. Thousands, in solitary 
places, have discovered that none need cry in 
vain, with aching heart, " Oh, that the Comforter 
would come!" The sacred and secret hand of 
God is everywhere. 

Near our sleeping-place, a few miles north of 
Otter's Head, I found some very curious animals 
resembling molluscs, from one-third to half an 
inch long, and broadish. They are peculiar in 
having no shell, but are studded very closely all 




^"-y of a Hr,[:jzr "" '" •""■"«•■•■ 

tie .„,„.,, i, d ',■ ,; ^^5= '"«'«<! form of 

-e. .-3.1 an,- JrJ t:^° -^ "«. .'".ough 

nowhere else. Thev hav. K ^ ^und them 

by Mr. Swainson^FR; 7 """^' ^^^^^•^''-• 
specimens; and Mr 71 ^^ ^'"^ ^''^^'^^n 
described them ast net^el T^^^^^^^' '^- 

eminent British naturalist «' / ^^^' ^'^^ 

only the cases of aUdd ' ''' '^'' ^'^^ ^-^^ 
B-«Is and theUnit^d st; ?' ""'"•^" ^° ^'^^ 
«^e E-pean for^t tlse"; ^^^ ^''^^ ^- 

The coast between Otter's W. j , 
Peek (forty-one miles^ '^ *°^ '^' Ri'^er 

than that'betwee; te ™"' '"^^^ ''"^^^^^ 
nigtier, more maasiye, and 

shells in Lo„do„. "°«^' *e finest collection of fresh-wate; 



often dip precipitously into woody dells. The 
water-margin is lined with low, jagged rocks, 
while the interior is very barren, the whole vege- 
tation being a few small Canada pines, apparently 
dead, save a little pencil of leaves at the top. 

About twenty-one miles from the Peek River 
there is a broad sand-bed, 120 feet high, and 
passing inland out of sight. It is cut through by 
a river from a level and rather fertile country of 
granite hills. 

A similar deposit, extensive, but low, is in the 
bay south-east of this river. These are usually in 
regular horizontal layers. | 

Tlie Smaller Written Rocks are, in a sandy 
cove, defended by islets fourteen miles south-east 
from the Peek River. They here are smooth and 
coated with tripe de roche and other lichens. 
Various names and figures of animals have been 
traced on them, both long ago and recently. 

The basalt dykes, which form such a peculiar 
feature in the geology of the north sliore of Lake 
Superior, are particularly abundant in this region. 
They are from one to sixty feet broad, and they 
cut through all the primitive rocks indifferently, 
proceeding without the slightest change of size, 
texture, or direction, from one to another. In a 
district of white granite their appearance is very 
striking, and resembles a ruined staircase, clear- 



^"'CTUHBSQCB Bx^eh. 

versed. 1 saw He «„. j , =•" " "ws tra- 

Tie ri,er, of ,J, T™ ^^' °» "«"■ 'Mas. 

■' f Med, clo« t„',itke t?'"'" '*"'-- 
"■« whole dip beinl " / ' "'" "s''" '"d 

»oiiId have told well ,„ , , ^"""PMimait,, 


fie River Peek t«t • ^ '^^'"- 

'^oJo^red, and, when sZl' ^""^ ""' «° ^h- 
.7*^-' ^ing."g the lake forTi^-^ '^^^'-^-yellon 
«« "'oatb, and derived fr^ Tt *"" *^° ''"""d 

-^^^ecla^scedis^^etHh ^^'^^"°--<^ 


^^^-^-east corner o'Ck^Bf""' ^"""°* «' 

^eek Bay, among s,^. 



drifts, tufted with pines. For ninety miles in- 
land this river flows quietly from the north, with 
little change of dimension, and having banks of 
sand and clay, with greenstone heights a little 
way off. The first fall occurs ninety miles from 
Lake Superior, and, of the two others, the third 
is thirty miles further on, and passes through a 
sandhill 200 feet high, having worn its way to 
the primitive rock beneath. 

The Peek River leads to Long Lake, 180 
to 200 miles from Lake Superior by canoe route. 
Long Lake is seventy-five miles long, but is nar- 
row. It is on or near to the height of land. 

At the mouth of the Peek River the Hudson's 
Bay Company have a fort— a picketed square, 
formed by the superintendant's house, other 
dwellings, and storehouses. 

Peek Bay is of moderate size ; its north arm is 
a line of woody steeps, with several thickly- 
timbered islets at its west end. 

The country here is of a softer aspect than has 
been the case latterly. The hills swell in gentle, 
egg-shaped slopes, and are freely wooded with 
spruce and birch. At a distance from the lake 
they become loftier, and are seen in retiring 
series. [ 

Seventeen miles and a half by canoe route, 
north-west from the River Peek, is Peek Island, 




oppos,te a lofty ^„d broad promontory of fissured, 
dull-red rock. t is several miles round, and has 
three naked submits. One of these. 760 ftet 
high I ascendedj while our astronomer trafficked 
for fish w,th an ^ndian canoe lying under its lee 
Bargaining with I savages is always lengthy and 
eeremomous; so hat I had plenty of time. The 
view from that elevation was beautiful and wide 

Lakewards, thi. pure blue watei-s extended 
shoreless as far as the eye could reach. As I 
turned towards the land, tall casque-shaped 
-lands* were seei^ here and there, bordering the 
iiorth shore, full ^f sinuosities, and overlooked 
by pleasingly-grouped hills of conical or waved 
outline fron, 600 to 800 feet high. I was well 
repaid for the trouble of the ascent. 

The bay north-West of Peek Island is deep 
and nine miles acjross at its mouth. A round 
islet of greenstone^ near its middle, is of ^reat 
use m rough weatHer to canoes. Its hills are in 
broad, imposing flanks, from 800 to 1000 feet high 

R.N. was surveying LakT Sulri w ^^''P'"'" ^'^''''^• 
civilities for a few Zm.t T ^^ exchanged news and 

sick man among his crew- bnt th^ ^"'^J'"^' ''•*o»t a 

plied him with Le,J:f;^:'^;i^^^i.''r"''^^-' -p- 

Bhortiy kid up with illness "'"'" '=°'°P'"'^ ''«« 




A convenient cove, with a narrow entrance, a 
little within its western cape, has given to that 
angle the name of Bottle Cove Cape. 

The previous night we had passed in a nook 
east of this bay ; and we started in a foggy 
mornino' • but, until breakfast, not so densely as 
to prevent travelling. We took that useful meal 
inside the great bay just spoken of, on the slimy 
beach, our clothes and faces shining with cold 

rime. | 

By this time the mist was so thick that we 
could hardly see objects at the boat's length. 

We nevertheless started, and rowed heartily 
for full four hours, until we suspected something 
was wrong, because we ought to have struck 
shore. Putting, therefore, our boat direct north- 
east, after half-an-hour's rowing the shore loomed 
in sight— first the high trees, then the rocks, and 
last the breakers. W^e had been working in a 
circle, and in four hours had not made two miles 

of good way. 

The wall of rock constituting Bottle Cove 
Cape rather exceeds two miles in length. It is 
crowned with pine-woods, and backed by a range 
of heights. It ends westwards in a second cove, 
darkened with high cliffs, and receiving at its 
bottom a slanting cascade. 

Two more irregular and large bays succeed 




. , , ^^^*='' River IS now at hand Of .1, 

luey are rather lar^e anr? liJ^i, r^ 
BajfieU ha, ,W,ed ,hen, *''■ ^'P*"" 

fo!^CTr'"1 '". "'■"■■■' '^^ B'-t River 

"" °' "^ ""Im inland, as the fo, „f ,1, 
■»»n,.„g wa, succeeded h, a ..„™ J^i/a ' ! 
-n „h h kept „, f„, .„ ,3^ nea: ;: „:' 

sudden occurrence of a slor„. . j . *' 
-'e affair in .he ,. "' LiT/ .1 ' " ' ''"■ 


The r file "?t '^ °°^ ^° "-^P^^ — -- 
last w. ' ' '^''^ *' ^^^ ^^'^h. Just as the 

last wave rs carrying the canoe on dry ground Z 

-We her gentlemen or clerks hurryout he; 



lading. During this time the other canoes are, 
if possible, heading out into the lake ; but now 
one approaches, and is seized by the crew of the 
canoe first beached, who meet her up to the 
middle in water, and who, assisted by her own 
people, lift her up high and dry : and so on with 
the rest. If the loading gets wet, a hindrance 
of two or three days' duration is necessary, in 
order to dry it. Every brigade of canoes has a 
well-paid guide. If he permit his goods to be 
thus injured, he loses his place, which is worth 
from 70/. to 90Z. per annum, j 

Our canoe was never sufiered to touch ground, 
except when turned upwards. 

Close to the calm basin into which we had 
pushed our boat, and close also to the lake, was 
a flourishing wood of pines. In the midst of this 
we pitched our tent, and set up the tripod for the 
vvyageurs fire, after having with our axes cleared 
a sufficient space of ground. 

We were quietly at work, when one of the 
men informed us that the wood we were in was a 
mere belt, 300 yards across, and that there were 
extensive open plains beyond, with lofty hills in 
the distance. We threw away pencil and pen, 
and set off to explore. 

The Black River, rising near Long Lake, 
enters Lake Superior on the west side of a 





Hlvvjal terraces. 

-■i toary, ™gi„g pa;i,enia'; ^,'^^'"''■• 
^ow and then pierced with a knoH T '' ''"^ 

- number, except w, "" '' '^°^«' «- 
-akes theL Ze t: T'''"^^ ^°^'— 
t^e east, all Twrlt wt '^^^' ^" 
away, lost in one great conl . ''° '"^"^^ 

lake and river of 1300 /! T^' ^'''''S ^''^ 

«We of a deserted b!vT^'"'- '^ ^^ *^« 

^■■eulars to point out hat nT'" ^'"^ ^"■ 

-- land-lift has ta Jn ;;a as ^ e"'" V^ 

The Black Riveif ^V'^' '° ^"'•ope, &c. 

through the griuvl- t"^ ' '''''^' ?*«««« 
terJs, makes a' el "" ''^"^ '•^"^- 

from wl^icwU '""^ ^'^ ^'•^'^^^^ hill 

, ^ "' *'^^ «"'• ^"••-^y. and then under- 



goes a series of descents, until it arrives at the 
lake, with accumulations of erratic block at every 
obstructed point. 

The first fall is sixty feet high {vide Plate), 
pitching into a deep funnel-shaped chasm, 250 
yards long, at the lower end of which several 
other jets of great beauty take place. The river 
then escapes into Lake Superior from a pretty 
basin, amid islets tufted with cedar, spruce, and 
alder.* | 

I found many traces of copper pyrites about the 
mouth of this river. 

The Written Rocks, chiefly deserving notice as 
a point of reference, are seven miles west of the 
Black River. They occur in a cluster of islets 
close to a large headland of glaring red colour, 
like all this vicinity, and which are separated 
from the main by a narrow, not quite a mile 
long, and called " The Detroit." 

The drawings which have given a name to this 
place are made by simply detaching the dark 
lichens from the flat red surface of the rock. At 
their west end there is a good representation of 

* " How divine the liberty for mortal man 
To roam at large among unpeopled glens 
And mountainous retirements, only trod 
By devious footsteps ; — regions consecrate 
To oldest time ; and reckless of the storm 
That keeps the raven quiet in her nest ! " 



an Indian firing at two animals ; and not far off 
b a cross set up by some pious traveller, in 
memory of a drowned comrade. Here we saw 
snow again. | 

Fi-om the west angle of a picturesque, but small 
bay, close to the Written Rocks, commences a 
line of iron-bound coast a mile long, a dangerous 
pass for canoes in| particular winds. It ends ab- 
ruptly at Cape Vefd, to form the important and 
picturesque bay of Nipigon. 

Cape Verd is ko called from the fine woods 
with which it is qrowned. Its rocks are basalt. 
Wherever this ro^k or any of its congeners pre- 
vail, such as amygdaloid, porphyry, &c., there 
vegetation becomes luxuriant, and the trees nu- 
merous, but not large. 

Both here and at Marmoaze I found the woods 
completely impassable. For several hundred yards 
inland the ground is buried in blocks of stone, 
carpeted with mdss a foot thick. Fallen trees 
are rotting in every direction, matted with briers 
and wild roses. Every step hazards the breaking 
of a limb in some ^nsuspected Crevice. The pro- 
strate trees are of^en mere forms ; in treading on 
them we plunge into a green mass up to the 
middle. I cannot but think, from the flourishing 
state of the cryptogamia here, that some new 
species might be discovered. 




From Cape Verd westward to Fort William 
(ninety to ninety-five miles by canoe) the north 
shore of Lake Superior is divided into three very 
large bays - Nipigon, Black, and Thunder Bays. 
They require separate notice. 

The first of these, Nipigon proper, extends to 
Gravel Point, on the great peninsula of the Mam- 
xnelles, a distance of forty-six mUes, outside of 
the islands soon to be menUoned. 

Nipigon Bay may be roughly stated as thirty- 
six miles across f«)m east to west, lour to six 
xniles deep at its east end, and sixteen on xts west 
end. Its wide mouth (or outer face) is closed up 
^ith a dense belt of large and smaU islands, 
which, taken together, are denominated The 
Pays Plat," a translation f5rom the Chippewa 
language, and refers only to the shallow black or 
relZr* of the lake hereabouts. It . true 
that there is one, a large island, yery level m 
parts, and covered with shingle and loose rocks ; 
but, generally speaking, it is an elevated regional 
cannot describe this splendid bay and archipelago 
with any minuteness. Mine was only 'ireconnois. 
sal The surveyor and naturalist will follow. 
I^e islands aJnumerous. I made the orcm 
of the whole by going outside in June, and 

from land we see its bottom. 





in the ruder month of September. St. Ignatius, 
the most westerly island save one, is much the 
largest. There are three or four others, extend- 
ing from it to Cape Verd, girded with some that 
are smaller. 

' The island of St. Ignatius, according to Captain 
Bayfield's map, is twenty-six miles long by twelve 
broad. It is oblong in shape. Its centre is table 
land, sometimes 1300 feet high, and dipping on all 
sides in rough declivities and precipices, whose fea- 
tures change with the component rock. If this be 
porphyry (common here), we have long pilasters, 
beginning at the crest of some sterile height, and 
ending- below on a slope of ruins, thinly wooded. 
This' we see on the south side of the island, in 
Fluor Island,* at the west end of Ignatius, and in 
Stag's-home, Deboit. The high black cliffs of 
the latter are very impressive and gloomy. If 
the cliffs be of red sandstone (often as hard as 
jasper, and fissured horizontally), they are only 
in patches at the very summits of lofty flanks 
buried in woods. i 

- The islands east of St. Ignatius are often very 
high : their sandstone precipices are occasionally 
formed nearer the level of the lake, and then they 
are worn by wajtercourses into singular shapes, 
• I 

* See plate, taken from the west-south-weat. Floor Island is 
in hvunmocks, and r^es to the height of 1000 feet. It is very 



such as pillars, arches, recesses (for ^tatues !) and 
window-like apertures, which not a little resemble 
a street of ruined chapels and chantries shrouded 
by mosses, vines, and forest trees. We have this 
fissured state of the rock both in the inner and 
outer route. ' 

Wherever the sandstone or red porphyry is 
found all the beaches and bare places are red; 
but as much of the Pays Plat is of black trap and 
amygdaloid, the colour there is rusty black. 

On one of the islets at the west end of the Pays 
Plat we have a beautiful display of true basaltic 
columns. A sketch was given me by Captain 

The island called La Grange is in a fine open 
basin not far from Nipigon River, with a few 
others about it having flat tops. It is a naked 
mass of trap rock, springing high and perpen- 
dicular out of a slope of coppice. It is exactly 
like one of the long barns of Lower Canada, and 
thence its name. We passed it on a lovely even- 
ing towards sunset. Not far from this island I 
took as a memorial, perhaps unwisely, from off a 
jutting point, the skull of a beaa' placed on a pole. 
It was as white as snow, and must have been 
there many years as a land-mark. 

The trappose and amygdaloidal districts are 
here thickly wooded, but the trees— mountains 

VOL. II. <* 



ash (very common), spruce, pitch pine, birch, 
&c. — are hide-bOund and small, sheathed in the 
trailing moss called goat's-beard. 

The region around Nipigon Bay is full of en- 
chanting scenery. As we journey up this great 
water we have the ever-changing pictures pre- 
sented by the beljt of islands on our left ; while on 
our right we haVe the Nipigon mainland, an as- 
semblage of bold mountains from 900 to 1200 feet 
high, tabular, rounded, or in hummocks, or sugar- 
loaf, and only separated by very narrow clefts or 

My sketches give a poor idea of all this, as I 
could only draw where I had opportunity, not in 
the finest situations. 

The bay is a beautiful lake of itself, so trans- 
parent that we can, for miles together, see its red 
pavement, and the living and dead things there 
inhabiting. It is sprinkled with a few isles of 
conical or tabular rocks, each with its girdle of 
verdure, in which are little coves, inviting to 
repose, with bright red beaches, reminding one 
of the ^gean Sea, or the Friendly Isles. 

The Nipigon, LAJempigon, or Redstone River, 
enters the bay at its west end. It is from 80 to 100 
yards broad at its mouth, and discharges a muddy 
grey water. Its length is ninety miles, and on it 
are seven cascades and three rapids. It comes 



from Lake Nipigon (or St. Anne), which is sixty 
miles round, and in a barren country.* 

The Mammelles Hills are 2U miles from 
Gravel Point, a well-known resting-place. There 
are several, but the two most conspicuous are 
cones of soft and beautiful outlines, at least 80« 
feet high, and close together at the south-west 
corner of the great promontory between Black 
and Nipigon Bays, being the southern extremity 
of a long ridge coming from the north. 

The Mammelles district consists of this head- 
land and the multitudinous islands which are in 
front of it. It bears a strong resemblance to the 
Nipigon country. Space forbids our entering into 
a detailed description of it. , 

We slept, on the 23d of June, on the edge of a 
beautiful basin, two miles and a half south-east of 
the Mammelles Hills, and next morning plunged 
into a charming labyrinth of porphyritic, amyg- 
daloidal, and sandstone islands, sheltered even 
from a hurricane. From time to time we saw the 
free lake at the bottom of a long vista of pine-clad 
islands ; and we were glad, for the sake of change, 

* From Mr. Mackenzie of Fort Nipigon, who told me a sin- 
gular Btory of the momentary resurrection of an Indian about to 
be buried without his arrows and medicine bag, &c., some yea.^ 
before Beckford's Italian legend of a similar kind was m Enghsh 
print. It shows that human nature repeaU itself ril over the world, 
with modifications. 



to come sudden 


y (nine miles from camp) into 
open water, opposite Thunder Mountain (see 
Plate), seven miles from us, at Point Porphyry. 

This magnificent headland is a principal feature 
in Lake Superior, and forms the north-west end 
of Black Bay. This bay, I am informed by 
Captain Bayfiel^, is forty-six miles deep, and 
extremely woody. It receives a large river. The 
mouth of the bay is partially guarded by a great 
assemblage of woody, and for the most part low 

The high hills ftt the bottom of Black Bay are 
visible from its mouth, of course much depressed 
below the horizon. Several islands occupy the 
centre of the bay: 

It is not always that a boat can cross from the 
Mammelles to Thunder Mountain ; but on the 
24th of June the lake was as smooth as glass. 
We greatly enjoyed the gradual unfolding, as 
we approached, of the various parts of the great 
basaltic cape. 

Thunder Mountain is several miles long, and 
of considerable breadth, except at the point, where 
it descends into the lake in three shelves. The 
west half of its summit (13.50 feet. Captain Bay- 
field ; 1400, Count Andriani*) appears to be 

* Count Andriani, ah Italian nobleman, about the year 1800 
fitted out a light canoe at Montreal, through the agency of Messrs. 






table land ; but the eastern half is huramocky. 
About the middle of its south side an immense 
crater-like cavity, with steep woody acclivities, is 
scooped out of the body of the mountain. The 
precipices are largest and finest on the north- 
north-west, and extend in rude colonnades over 
two-fifths of the whole height, terminating in 
naked taluses, 300 to 400 feet high, which, how- 
ever, do not reach the water, but are succeeded 
downwards by three woody terraces, the lowest 
of which touches the lake. i 

On the side of Thunder Bay 1 saw no pre- 

At and about the water-level, under Thunder 
Mountain, I saw a good deal of fixed limestone 
(without fossils), the only place where it is known 
to exist on the north shore of this lake. 

Thunder Bay, to which we have now arrived, 
under the shadow of its great promontory, is 
round, and from ten to twelve miles across. 
Grand Point is its western angle ; its margin is 

Forsyth and Richardson, and circumnavigated Lake Superior. He 
occupied himself in astronomical observations and the admeasure- 
ment of heights, mingling also freely with the Indians. 

Mr. Astronomer Thompson furnished me with the above feet 
respecting Thunder Mountain. Lord Selkirk quotes him m a 
pamphlet on the late disputes in the north-west territories ; but I 
cannot find any pubUcation of the Count's, although I have made 
diligent search. 



swampy on the west, but its bottom is here and 
there bold and precipitous. 

The only islands in Thunder Bay are Welcome, 
Hare, and Sheep Islands, opposite the mouths of 
! the River Kanjinistigua, or Dog River, where 

I Fort William is placed. 

Pursuing our journey, we made for Welcome 
^^;v>v- -^ Island, and were soon afterwards safe in the fort. 
On our return from the Lake of the Woods, as 
we passed Sheep Island in September, we were 
agreeably surprised to see lines of haycocks, and 
four haymakers in white shirt sleeves and straw 
hats. This sudden coming upon one of the pret- 
tiest sights of Christendom, which we had left far 
away, and long ago, made us quite tender, as the 
Indians say. 

once the depot at which every 
ibled the wintering partners of the 
North-west Company, with the proceeds of their 
trade with the Indians, is placed on the northern 
of the three channels of the Kaministigua River 
(" River of the Isles,"— Chippewa), 800 yards from 
the lake. It is a large picketted square of dwell- 
ings, oflSces, and stores, all now in comparative 
neglect. It is 403 miles from the Falls of St. 
Mary, and forty-two miles north-east of the 
Grand Portage, as measured on the ice by Mr. 
Astronomer Ferguson (Boundary Commission). 

Fort William, 
year were assem 



I was much pleased at Fort William. Although 
its palmy days were gone, when the rich furs of 
the Arctic circle and the Rocky Mountains were 
brought here by the adventurous men who alone, 
in those days, could conduct a distant commerce 
with savages, attended by a crowd of clerks, 
trappers, and voyageurs, still some interesting 
remnants of these people were at the fort during 

my visit. 

We all took our meals together in a plainly- 
furnished, low-roofed hall, capable of seating a 
hundred persons. We were placed a good deal 
according to rank, the seniors and leaders at the 
head of the table, and the clerks and guides, &c. 
of respectable but humbler grade, ranged down 
the table in order due. i 

The conversation was whoUy north-west and 


My vis-a-vis yf as a handsome young gentleman, 
but pale and wasted, who told me that he had 
been living upon his parchment windows, and a 
little tripe de roche, for three or four weeks, the 
fish and fowl having failed at his winter quarters. 

I asked him how the Company fed their fur 
collectors during the idle time of summer. " We 
give " said he, "to each family, if in the great 
plains, six bullets and a quart of powder, with 
which to kill the buffalo. If in the lake country. 




of the Cree and 
We engaged 

they subsist upon geese and fish, and receive a 
net and some ^lot, instead of bullets, with their 

I saw at Fort William several fine specimens 
other tribes of the plains, 
an active young Indian, born in 

Lake Lapluie, as our guide to the Lake of the 
Woods, by the old route. The treaty for his 
services was qui^e a scene — his apparent indiffer- 
ence, his solemn looks, and evident resolution to 
sell dear, and, above all, the endless, enormous 
volumes of white smoke he emitted from nose 
and mouth, were past belief. 

When the bargain was completed he shook 
hands with his flew masters, suffered his features 
to relax, and proved a most useful fellow. Like 
the rest of his jribe he wore his hair long, and 
plaited into twenty or thirty slender strings, which 
were weighted wHth bits of white metal interwoven 
at regular distances. 

As some of these hung over his face (poodle 
fashion), when he wanted a clear sight he some- 
bow, in an instant, shook them all behind him. 

We left Fort William* for the Grand Portage 
on one of the la^ days of June. 

j,*^ * The Dog River, on which this post is placed, issues from a 
considerable lake of the same name, on the new route to the Lake 
of the Woods, in longitude 84° 40', and latitude 48° 45'. 



We found the shore of Lake Superior swamgy 
as far as Grand Point, but there the hills, which 
in lofty slopes and scarps for some way inland 
skirt the Kaministigua (and are perhaps the 
highest— 1000 feet— at Mackay's Mountain, near 
the south fork), join the lake, and line it in 
precipices from 300 to 800 feet high, south- 
westwards, to near Pigeon Bay. They are flat- 
topped, cut up by ravines, and clad with pines. 
A slope of ruins, clothed with birch and aspen, 
creeps up their sides. I 

The shores of the two bays east of Pigeon Bay 
are also frequently escarped, but being low, 
disclose a barren interior of broad rock ridges, 
attaining an elevation of from 600 to 900 feet, and 
affecting a rough parallelism with the coast. 

Pigeon Bay is supposed to be the " Long Lake " 
of French geographers, and to have been intended 
in the treaty of 1783, between Great Britain and 
the United States, as the point of departure from 


In the first half of its course it runs south, and east during the 
second half. It has numerous rapids, and some splendid cataracts, 
especially those of Du CUen and La Montague. The sod at its 
lower end is fertile - sand, clay, and vegetable mould. 

It enters Lake Superior, amid extensive morasses, by three 
channels, of which the southern is the longest, and the ^rnddte 
„uch the smallest, being also obstructed by fallen tre^. Thej . 
another smaller river in Thunder Bay, a few miles north-east of the 
River Dog or Kaministigua. 




Lake Superior of the boundary line passing to 
the Lake of the Woods, therein ordered to be 

It may seem odd to call so small a bay by the 
name of Long Lake ; but in a very old French 
map in my possession, Pigeon Bay is made to run 
fifty or sixty miljes into the interior, westerly, very 
narrow, and especially at the mouth. 

Pigeon Bay is three miles across its mouth 
by four in depth. In one of its coves, shel- 
tered by ^n islet, a schooner belonging to the 
North-west Company usually winters. Its worthy 
commander bears the singular name of Mac- 

Pigeon River enters at the south corner of the 
Bay. It has a beautiful cascade, 120 feet high, a 
mile and a half from the lake. 

From Pigeonj Point, a rocky coast for a few 
miles brings us to the bay of the Grand Portage. 
Anxiously we looked into it as a celebrated spot, 
by which we were to enter the northern interior. 

Grand Portage Bay is two miles and three- 
quarters wide by one and a third deep, with a 
margin of sand and shingle. 

The North-west Company formerly had an 
important post here, of warehouses, stables, gar- 
dens, &c., which occupied a grassy flat, backed by 
high hills. 



A small island (Mouton) is.near the east angle 
of the bay, which is called Point Chapeau, rising 
in the rear to the height of 840 feet by our astro- 
nomer's geometrical admeasurement. 

The whole voyage from Fort William to this 
place has been full of scenic beauty. The very 
lofty and broken interior is nearly naked ; but 
where there are woods, we have the tender green 
of the aspen and birch down below, while sombre 
pines crown the black precipices. 

The large and broad island called the P^t^, 
near Thunder Bay, is a prominent feature from 
every part of this region. 

It is everywhere lofty, and at its west end an 
immense square rock, like a raised pie, rises 
perpendicular from a woody flat to the height of 
850 feet. It gives name to the whole island, and 
is joined to it by a low isthmus. This pilastered 
and tower-like eminence may be half a mile in 


Isle Royale is forty-five miles long and nine 

* On our return in September we breakfasted opposite the PSte, 
in a eove. on a raw, mUty morning. AU our provisions were gone 
except the men's soup, and of that there was httle. ^ e we^ th^n 
glad to share a hawk (shot by Mr. Thompson, junior) between 
L. I roasted it. We had had nothing but salt meat, cocoa^ 
„d a Tery Uttle biscuit dust, for nearly three weeks. TV e dmed 
the same day, however, at Fort William, distant sixteen miles. 




broad in the liiddle by admeasurement' (in the 
winter). It extends from near Thunder Mountain 
to the Grand Portage, and is about fifteen miles 
from both. Its general direction is north-east, 
as is that of its several ranges of hills. The 
north-eastern half of its shores is fringed with 
narrow islets or reefs. 

IsleRoyale is lofty, and particularly at its west 
eqd. I am indebted for this information to Mr. 
Astronomer Ferguson. 

Father Boucher, in his account of New France 
(Canada), dated 1663, announces the presence of 
copper ores in Isle Royale, and the fact has been 
fully confirmed within the last twelve months. 

The numerous islands between Thunder Bay 
and the Grand Portage, running along shore, in 
addition to the two large ones just noticed, have 
the fine bold features of those of Nipigon Bay. 
They assisted to embellish a delightful sail in our 
canoe.* Their position is best seen on the accom- 
panying map. They are rocky, in hummocks, 
cliffs, and ledges, not often a hundred feet high ; 
but for this, Isle Royale and the Pate compensate 

* We had eichangfed at Fort William our boat for stout north 
canoes, manned by six voyageur* each. 



The remainder of the north shore of Lake 
Superior, to its western extremity at the River St. 
Louis, is almost wholly bold and iron-bound. The 
hills on the immediate coast range from 900 to 
1200 feet above the level of the sea, and are 
principally basalt. 




The Fur-traders — Gknd Portage — Pigeon River — Mosquitoes- 
Outard Lake — Mjigration of Dragon-flies — Moose, Mountain, 
&c. Lakes — Wild Rice — Lakes of the height of land — Hudson's 
Bay — Gunflint and Keseganaga Lakes — Sick voyageur — Indian 
Family — Bears -^ More Lakes — Indians — Watch-tower — 
Crooked Lake — Sioux Arrows — La Croix and other Lakes 
and Rivers — Rain^ Lake circumnavigated — Scenery — Natives. 

In my sketches of the north shore of Lake Superior 
I have been as ferief as is consistent with the fact 
that, in addition to its natural claims as a re- 
markable and but little known region, its mineral 
riches are attra<itiug a large population, who have 
a right to look for information to those who pre- 
ceded them in this new seat of human enterprise ; 
and I may at the same time add that a new and 



flourishing state, that of Wisconsin, has been es- 
tablished within the last few years on its southern 

Although the wilderness now to be entered upon 
be almost certainly metalliferous, a party of miners 
being now at work close to it, we shall only mark 
the leading points in the journey of 431* miles 
from the Grand Portage to the north end of the 
Lake of the Woods. 

The country between Lake Superior and the 
Lake of the Woods is, like the whole watershed 
between Hudson's Bay and the Valley of the St. 
Lawrence, a rugged assemblage of hills, with 
lakes, rivers, and morasses, of all sizes and shapes, 
in their intervals. It is, in fact, a drowned land, 
whose waters have assumed their permanent fea- 
tures by a balance of receipt and discharge. 

They all communicate practically with each 
other, either by water or by portages, so that 
the traveller may reach the Lake of the Woods 
by many routes, differing only in danger, labour, 
and directness. Thus nineteen of the rivers which 
enter into Lake Superior west of the Grand Port- 
age rise near Lake Boisblanc, the tenth lake on 
our route. All these are useji from time to time 

• We actually passed over 1000 miles of the waters north of 
Lake Superior, if we include our circumnavigation of Lakes 
Lapluie and of the Woods. 




by the Indians td get to Lake Lapluie, &c., and so 
is a chain of lakes leading westward from the 
Nipigon country to Lake Boisblanc. 

During great part of the eighteenth century, 
before the union of the Indian traders into one 
company, the North-west, the Lake Superior end 
of the Grand Portage was a pent-up hornets' nest 
of conflicting factions intrenched in rival forts. 

The traders first coalesced into two companies ; 
one called the f' X Y Company," from a mark 
placed on their packs, and consisting of Sir Alex- 
ander M'Kenzie, and Messrs. Ogilvy, Richardson, 
and Forsyth ; and of the North-west Company, 
at whose head were Messrs. W. and S. M'Gillvray, 
M'Tavish, and others. Latterly both these firms 
united to contend with the old Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, acting under the charter of Charles the 
Second and later parliamentary sanction. 

The American Government, properly conceiv- 
ing that the Grand Portage, the centre of so much 
commercial activity, was within their territory, 
signified, about ijhe year 1802, to the amalgamated 
company, now called the North-west Company, 
their intention of imposing a duty of from twenty 
to twenty-five per cent on all goods landed there. 

After having in vain offered a composition of 

five per cent, the 

the place, but ndt before they had well examined 

North-west Company abandoned 



the Pigeon River from the north end of the Grand 
Portage down to Lake Superior. Sir Alexander 
M'Kenzie occupied a long day in this task, accom- 
panied by two Indians ; but they found that high 
falls, rapids, and shelving precipices, rendered 
the river utterly impracticable for commercial 

The company then built their Fort William, 
and made the Dog River and other streams and 
lakes their road into the north-west fur countries, 
although this is inferior in every respect to the 
old route ; so much so, that the vuyageurs had to 
be coaxed and bribed into the use of it. 

I am obliged to Mr. Astronomer Thompson for 
this information. I 

The direction of the old route is nearly west as 
far as the mouth of the River Lapluie. From 
Lake Lacroix westward the two routes unite. 

We left Lake Superior on the 29th of June, 
and walked over woody hills and waded through 
swampy bottoms to the west end of the portage 
(eight miles and one-sixth), greatly annoyed by 
mosquitoes and the closeness of the air, the path, 
such as it was, being overgrown by briers and 
coppice. The trees were sometimes large, and 
fruits were in blossom. | 

We were visited here by two of the birds called 
" Whistling John." It has a long bill, and is 





almost all feathers. Its back is brown, and breast 
white. It is ejitremely familiar, and goes aboat 
whistling a little note of its own, seeking small 
objects, which it hoards. It is of the size of an 
English blackbird. 

We encamped on the banks of the Pigeon River 
several days, waiting for our canoes and baggage. 
It was here from 120 to 130 feet broad, with a 
gentle current and muddy bottom. 

One mile east of us, towards Lake Superior, be- 
gins a long and most picturesque series of cascades 
and rapids, one of the former plunging into a 
mural chasm 200 feet deep with a gloomy despe- 
ration worthy of the Handeck in Switzerland. 
The sides of the river hereabouts are rocky ter- 
races, naked and high, or are ravines choked with 
huge debris overspread with underwood, wild 
roses, and raspberries. Its left bank rises to the 
height of 800 or 900 feet, and has only a few tufts 
of pines growing in the fissures. It is a very 
savage place, aqd will repay a visit. I was almost 
a whole day inl scrambling two miles below the 
first fall, and returned to camp in a very tattered 

The mosquitoes were ferocious, their bites 
being also much envenomed by our salt diet. 
Although the heat was very great in these close 
woods, we wore gloves, veils, and caps over the 



ears. My pantaloons were tied close down to the 
boots, or the creatures would have crept up the 

I could uot help wishing them to leave me 
alone, and with Bryant begged them to 

i ^ • 

" Try some plump alderman, and suck the blood 
Enriched with generous wine and costly meat : 
On well-filled skins fix thy light pump, 
And press thy freckled feet." 

We had at this place a curious instance of the 
boldness and endurance of the mosquito. 

My servant, a very handy lad, was lining a 
waistcoat with a prepared deer-skin which I had 
just bought of some Indians, and which I thought 
would be warm on our return voyage. A mos- 
quito settled on his baud, and filled itself with his 
blood. Calling my attention to what he was 
about to do, he cut off (wholly, I think) the hinder 
part of the animal, a mere bag of blood, with his 
scissors ; but the insect continued to suck and the 
blood to drop out from behind. The young man 
now struck at the mosquito, but it escaped ; soon 
returning, however, to the same hand, and there 
again fastened, when his two wings were deli- 
berately cut off without disturbing the drinker. 
Another blow killed him. 

We hear at our camp the roar of an upper set 




of falls a mile aid a third up the river. They are 
fine, the largest being forty-nine feet high. 

We travelled up the Pigeon River eighteen 
miles, partly through meadows,* with occasional 
rapids, to Outaild, or Fowl Lake (six miles long 
by two where ll>roadest). It is so called from an 
Indian traditiort that the hens and chickens of 
white men have been heard to clack and scream 

This lake may in some sense be considered as 
an expansion o^ the Pigeon River, as this river 
enters high up, near the narrows, and leaves at 
the bottom. 

We enter it by a long portage, woody like the 
rest of the environs, and overlooked at its west 
end by a basaltic precipice not less than 600 feet 
high. The \\e\f from the summit is beautiful. A 
strong north-west gale was blowing across a clear 
sky successive companies of clouds, which map- 
ped the sea of woods before me with fugitive 
shadows. Looking to the north-west. Lake Ou- 
tard lay below, [nearly bisected by a rushy narrow. 
Beyond it we h^ve hilly ranges of woods, running 

* We slept, or tried to do so, in these meadows. The mosqui- 
toes were in billions; As soon as the tread of man gave notice of 
his approach, I saw them rising to the feast in clouds out of tlie 
coarse grass around. We burnt the grass after watering it, and 
lived in the smoke. 



W.N.W., with long valleys between. To the 
south and south-east we sedthe valley of Pigeon 
River buried in dark pines, among which we 
still discern short silvery traces of the stream 
itself. I 

The loose stones on the eastern shore of this 
lake were, for several hundred yards together, 
covered over with myriads of bright sky-blue 
dragon-flies, their long bodies crossed by three 
or four bars of black. They were doubtless pre- 
paring for migration, — a proceeding, I think, not 
eommon among insects. 

Two similar facts are recorded in the ' Magazine 
of Natural History" (iii. 516, 1839), as having 
occurred in Germany in 1816 and 1838. Vast 
numbers of Libellulce depressce and Quadri macu- 
latcB went from Weimar, Halle, and other places, 
into the Netherlands, following the course of the 

Lord Selkirk attempted to form an agricultural 
establishment on the low lands about this lake ; 
but it failed, and is deserted. A short carrying- 
place now took us into Moose Lake (three miles 
and a quarter by one-half to two-thirds of a mile). 
Like Outard, it is hid in pines, cypress, spruce, and 
aspen. Its length runs west. I shall never forget 
the numbers and activity of its mosquitoes. 

A short series of portages and ponds of rushes 

-^ I 




and wild rice orought us into Mountain Lake 
(six miles and oije-third by lialf a mile). 

This picturesque lake in one place shows six 
distinct distances in lofty basaltic headlands. 

In the vicinity, but away from the lake, we see 
large, naked, solitary, barrow-like hills, — high, 
and often precipitous. 

Our astronomer says that he has not discovered 
the feeders to this lake, and our Indian guide, 
" the little Englishman," says there are none. 

As we fJoat over its transparent waters, we 
notice below us very large blocks of basalt repos- 
ing on fine mud. 

A short carrying- place conveyed us hence into 
the fine irregular sheet of water called the Entre- 
deux (three miles and one-fifth long). 

Its scenery, of open basins and narrows, ample 
groves, hills, and cliffs, is very striking. {Vide 

The new Grand Portage (2200 yards long), low 
and swampy, now leads into Rose Lake, another 
delightful morcedu of lake solitudes. 

It is heavily wooded down to watermark, \^ith 
high precipices of trap, jutting capes, brightened 
by the delicate green of the young aspen. It 
runs nearly west for. six miles, being very nar- 
row two-thirds of its length. 

In the middle, this lake is very shallow (deep 




elsewhere), the bottom smooth and level. The 
voyageurs are convinced that the mud, without 
touching the canoe, attracts and retards it. It is 
almost liquid to the depth of ten or twelve feet 
below the apparent bottom. 

Sir Alexander M'Kenzie is inclined to think so 
too ; and certainly, though it seems impossible, 
we thought our canoes dragged slowly and hea- 
vily over this ground. 

A couple of moderate portages and some ponds 
now bring us to the East Lake of the Height of 
Land, a narrow basin about three miles long, 
westerly, and pouring its waters into Rose Lake. 

It was here that we saw the Indians, even at 
this early period of the year, gathering their rice 
harvest. Several canoes were at work (men and 
women) in a flooded marsh. The men cut off the 
green heads of the rice-plant, and let them fall 
into the canoe, while the women stowed them 
away. Great was the merriment. We looked on 

for a few minutes. 

We next passed into the West Lake of the 
Height of Land, by a carrying-place (468 yards 
loner) profusely loaded with trees, shrubs, and 
grals. We are now inwaters tributary to Hud- 
son's Bay, and seventy-eight miles from Lake 


The West Lake is five miles and a half long, but 

. IS 



its principal part lies to the east of our route, and 
is surrounded lj)y very high hills. We therefore 
cross it obliquely towards the north (one mile and 
a third), passing by porphyry of silicious base in 
situ on a point close to our route on the east. 

We now gain access to Gunflint Lake (six miles 
and a third by ti^vo miles) by two sets of narrows 
and rapids, altogether three miles long. 

Gunflint Lakje often takes the name of Red- 
ground Lake, from the ochrey red gravel with 
which it abounds, and the ferruginous colour of 
its basalt. We find on it greenstone porphyry 
in lofty hills, with fine olivine or feldspar crystals ; 
most likely a part of the basaltic and cupriferous 
rocks of Lake Superior.* 

Leaving this lake we descended to the still 
larger lake, Keseganaga, by a series of five small 
basins (or lake^) and narrows ; the whole twelve 
miles long, and often the seat of rough rapids, — 
the scenery of hills, shattered rocks, and turbu- 
lent waters being savage in the extreme, especially 
at the portage of the Wooden Horse. 

The moment we entered this chain of waters, 
the high table-lands, the cliffs, the rich vegetation 
of a basaltic district, the regular outlines of the 
lakes, the absence of islands, were exchanged for 

* We found puddingstone on the Grand Portage, and the sili- 
cious porphyry of Gros Cap, Lake Superior, in West Lake. 




a naked country of granite, in mounds, either 
piled one upon another or single (low, perhaps), 
and surrounded by wide marshes ; the prevailing 
tints of the country being red and dark grey ; the 
former from the granite or gneiss, and the latter 
from the admixture of scorched pines and young 
poplars everywhere filling the eye. 

There are several very fine cascades in these 
twelve miles, almost rivalling the best in the 
Canadas. The occasional rapids were so strong 
and billowy as to shake the canoe severely. 

On the Height of Land one of our voyageurs was 
seized with inflammation of the bowels, which 
bleeding, &c. subdued only for a time, — being re- 
produced by the roughness of the waters. The 
man's agony and exhaustion were extreme. We 
were, therefore, exceedingly glad to see, on enter- 
ing Lake Keseganaga, a large wigwam, on a 
marshy point, belonging to a well-known old 
Indian named Frisee. He bad two or three 
strong sons and three or four daughters and 
daughters-in-law, and their children, all looking 
brown and fat, although said to be starving. 

Frisee willingly received the sick man, but 
said that both hunting and fishing had failed 
them ; that his young men had been out four 
days and had only killed two rabbits. The voy- 
ageur, he said, must be content with family fare. 



And on landing; I was not a little disturbed by 
seeing two men and a woman, at the entrance of 
the wigwam, feiedins: with their fingers, out of 
a tub, on the upwashed entrails of a rabbit, and 
wiping their hai^ds, when they had done, on their 
own heads or on the back of a dog. 

There was no help for it — stay our man must; 
so Mr. Astronoimer Thompson prepaid Frisee one- 
half of the proposed reward in tobacco and coarse 
blue cloth, promising the remainder on our re- 
turn to receive our man again. I gave some 
yards of tape and of scarlet and yellow riband to 
the girls, who are very fond of such things. 

To our friend we gave tobacco and biscuit. He 
was content to stay, and nodded languidly to his 
comrades as thqy stepped into the canoe. When 
we had begun to move through the water I 
looked back, atid saw behind the wigwam the 
children with my riband, cut into short pieces, 
tied in their hair. They were scampering and 
screaming withJ joy like little furies. Indian 
children are treated with great indulgence. 

Lake Keseganaga, down which we are now 
moving, is much larger than any we have yet 
seen ; and pass along its length (fourteen miles). 
It is very irregular in shape, and derives its name 
from being full of islands. Its south shore dis- 
plays three ranees of heights ; — firet, the green 




slopes at the water's edge; secondly, a thinly- 
wooded purplish-red ridge; and thirdly, behind 
it, a blue line of hills, still higher, and visible 
along all this side of the lake. 

Its outlet is a river of the same name, which 
flows into Hudson's Bay by Lake Sturgeon of 
the New Route. 

Here we saw two bears (where the Indians had 
seen none) ; one was sitting at gaze on a high 
rock. As soon as he perceived us, he wheeled 
about, and hurried into the interior. 

We met with the other on our return home. 
What I took to be an old hat floating in a wide 
expanse of water was declared to be a bear. 
Bears swim low. Both canoes made for him as 
fast as we could paddle, and we soon came up 
with poor Bruin. 

Our astronomer took his stand at the bow, and 
quietly discharged his piece into his neck. The 
animal gave a loud howl, and rolled about in the 
bloody water violently, while we struck at him 
with poles and an axe. So great was the hubbub 
that I thought we should all have been drowned, 
for a small birch canoe is the last place to make 
war in ; but the bear being soon stunned and quiet, 
a voyageur laid hold of him by the neck, and we 
slowly drew him to the shore. 

A^ /C 

, i 



When on dry land, and the water had ran off 
a li tie, the bear suddenly revived, stood up and 
showed fight, but he was so weakened by loss of 
blocd that a few more blows on the head laid him 
for ever. He was skinned that evening, and 
we jnade three good meals of him. Fresh meat 
luxury those only can estimate who have 
been living on salt provisions for some time in hot, 
steamina; woods. 

We saw but few bears this summer, but m that 
of 1824 the party met with nearly twenty, owing 
probably to a new distribution of food making 
fruit or fish more plentiful here than elsewhere. 

Leaving Lake Keseganaga. we again found 
ouilselves among basaltic hills and marshes ; and 
after a couple of carrying-places, passing down 
Cypress Lake (five? miles long), and its near 
neighbour, Knife Lake (nine miles and a half 


The soil of these portages is two-thirds primi- 
tiv^ gravel, the rest sand and brown clay. 

On Knife Lake I saw a cypress whose bark had 
be^n stripped by lightning from top to bottom, in 
a sjpiral three inches broad. I have seen other 
trees so treated. 

A succession of rapids, closely shrouded in 
foliage, sometimes violent (and an expanse, some- 





times called Carp Lake), bring us into Boisblanc 
Lake (fifteen miles long— Mackenzie), so called 
from its producing bass-wood. 

Its many islands, high and well-wooded shores, 
■with pretty beaches of yellow sand, render it 
very picturesque. We passed a wintering-post of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, consisting of two or 
three comfortable huts on a cape. 

Boisblanc Lake is very crooked, and resembles 
the letter Z in shape. I found here the Etheria 
exitiosa, the destroyer of peach-trees, as deter- 
mined by Say of Philadelphia; but I saw no 

On our return home in autumn through this 
lake we espied a canoe rounding a point to enter 
one of its deep bays. Being then very short of 
provisions we hastened after it, and found it in 
company with four others, all filled with In- 
dians. They could only sell us some strips of 
dried deer's flesh, each a yard long and four or 
five inches broad. It looked like thick, red lea- 
ther; but our men were glad of it to thicken 
their soup. While this purchase was going 
on, the gentle breeze drove a canoe full of 
%yomen alongside of mine. As we rocked on 
the wave, the women fixed their eyes with won- 
derment upon me sewing on a button. The 
needle having an eye, and carrying the thread 




along with it, caused many a low, soft note of 
surprise ; but when I presented a needle and 
some thread to each oi' the dark ladies, they were 
delighted. Al ;hough their prattle was unintelli- 
gible to me, not so their thankful eyes. 

A series of violent rapids and cascades, from 
three to five niiles long, now follow, with their 
portages. Of the first, the reader is presented 
with a view. At the lower end of one of these 
rapids there i^ an interesting relic of ancient 
Indian warfare in a hollow pile of stones^ five 
feet broad by sijx long. It is now only three feet 
high, and has an aperture in the side, by which 
the rapids below may be watched. Each stone 
of the ground-tier (granite and gneiss) would re- 
quire the united strength of three or four men to 
move it. Undeit this shelter, in days now gone by, 
the Chippewas, or Wood Indians, used to watch 
for their invaders, the Sioux of the plains, — a race 
of horsemen and warriors living principally on 

We next came to a narrow of still water, the 
entrance in fact of Lake Croche (crooked), about 
twenty miles long. This narrow is walled in by 
high precipices of shattered granite, beautifully 
striped downwards by broad bands of white, 
yellow, red, gre«n, and black stains (vegetable). 

Until lately, the 

arrows shot by the Sioux, during 



a conflict at this spot, might be seen, sticking in 
the clefts of the rocks. 

Seven miles from the upper end of the lake, 
the passage is almost closed by large blocks and 
bowlders ; but not far from thence, westerly, the 
lake widens, and becomes diversified by fine 
islands, and an occasional high white hummock 
on the main. Some square masses of bleached 
rock dotting the shore made me think I beheld a 
Canadian village. ' 

In the middle of the lake, where the islands 
were thickest, we shot past a pretty and unex- 
pected sight. 

We saw, sitting before a conical wigwam, a hand- 
some, comfortably-dressed young Indian and his 
wife at work, a child playing with pebbles on the 
shore, and a fox-like dog keeping watch. There 
they sat, fearless and secure. When they saw us 
they only nodded and laughed. It occurred to 
me that many an Englishman might envy them. 

Heathen though they be, the greatest affection 
often obtains between husband and wife. An 
Indian and his wife, I was informed, hunting 
alone on the plains, were met by a war-party of 
the Sioux. They endeavoured to escape, but the 
poor woman was overtaken, struck to the ground, 
and scalped. i 

Seeing this, the husband, although at this 



time beyond [either the balls or arrows of the 
Sioux, turned, and, drawing his knife, rushed 
furiously upon them, to revenge the death of his 
wife, even at Ithe inevitable sacrifice of his own 
life ; but he ii^as shot before he reached the foe. 
This occurred not long ago. 

After some sharp currents along narrows, and 
the picturesque Iron Lake (three miles and two- 
thirds across), >ve arrive at the Pewarbic, or Bottle 
Portage, and J^ake Lacroix. (See Plate.) 

The Lake of the Cross is thirty-four miles lono- 
by eighteen w^de, according to Mackenzie. Ac- 
cording to ou^- survey, it contains 260 islands, 
often pine-tuftbd with rushy sides, besides rocks 

Its shores ure extremely capricious in their 
outlines, and cften bare and high. The Indians 
have names fU most of the localities, but we 
could seldom procure them. 

Wild rice gr|)ws so abundantly and fine on the 
south shore/ ol Lake Lacroix that we sometimes 
could hardly Jiush our canoes through it. Its 
water-lilies are^ superb, much the finest I have 
seen. They aile about the size of a dahlia, for 
which they miight be taken. They are double 
throughout, ev ?ry, row of petals diminishing by 
degrees, and passing gradually from the purest 
white to the highest lemon-colour. There is in 



the neighbouring lakes a variety, wholly bright 

A few miles from the Pewarbic Portage, on an 
island near the south main, there are the remains 
of a round tower, or defensive building of some 
sort, twenty-seven feet in diameter. It was 
erected by the Indians, and commands a wide 
view of expanses and woody isles. 

The new or Dog-River route, from Lake Supe- 
rior to the Lake of the Woods, enters Lake 
Lacroix on its north-east side by the River Ma- 
ligne, and thenceforwards is the same as the old 

The large River Lacroix (the outlet) leaves 
the lake on its north-west side, and finds its way 
into Lake Namaycan. We ascended it on our 
return home, entering from a small, quiet bay 
in Lake Namaycan, full of reeds and water- 
lilies, its shores lined with long grass and fine 
young oaks : but when once in the river all is 
romantic — that is, beautiful and dangerous. 

This stream is a chain of vehement rapids and 
still waters ; the former pent up in high walls of 
black basalt, from thirty to sixty yards apart, and 
crowned with pines; the latter, wide, full of 
marshy islets, rushes, and lilies. It is twelve or 
fifteen* miles long — more, perhaps — and leaves 

VOL. II. s 



a. series of pretty cascades and 

Lake Lacroix by 

Two miles up the river from Namaycan the 
rapids were hardly practicable. We therefore 
unloaded, and scrambled over the tangled cliflFs 
for a considerable distance, using the tow-rope to 
the canoes. But good and new as the tow-rope 
was, the strain was too great; it broke, and 
away, went the iirst canoe down the heaving, 
foaming rapid, teix miles an hour, our two men in 
her escaping by njiiracle almost. 

Just as a bend |of the river took our distressed 
people out of sight, looking up the stream, we 
saw a long spear erect in the water, and riding 
rapidly towards i^s. This I could not at all un- 
derstand ; but in a moment or two there darted 
down the current, from an upper bend, a canoe 
in full pursuit, o^ne Indian at the bow, standing 
aloft on the thwarts, spear in hand ; another was 
guiding. In striking a large iish, it had wrenched 
the weapon from the hand of the spearsman. 

This river is unfit for commercial purposes, a 
fact we had to verify, because other formidable 
rapids, as well as cascades, are met with beside 
this. The falls near Lake Lacroix are pleasing. 

We slept on the lake-shore, just above the 
portage, and hadj to complain of the singular cry 




of the whip-poor-will all night, in a tree close 
to us, screaming into our ears his unhappy, re- 
proachful notes, without a moment's cessation. 
This bird, the Cuprimulgtis vociferus of naturalists, 
is not often seen so far north as this. It breeds 
in Louisiana, and is nocturnal in its habits. Its 
food consists of winged insects. 

In a wood close by, which had lately been 
fired, I found a beautiful tomahawk-hatchet. I 
took it in return for many little valuables left 
behind in our twilight morning starts. 

But we must return to our outward journey. 
We entered Lake Namaycan by the Loon's Nar- 
row (Mangshe-pawnac), by Vermillion Lake (so 
named from a paint found there), and finally by 
subsequent channel choked with aquatic plants. 

There is a fur-collecting post on Lake Ver- 
million, where the scenery, though sometimes 
bold, is on the whole softer and more fertile 
than is common in gneiss districts. Encamping on 
a greensward, we were glad to catch a few fish 
for supper. I 

Of Lake Namaycan, I shall only say that it is 
about twenty miles long in a north-west direction, 
singularly broken up into bays and inlets. It 
resembles in its general aspects the granite lakes 
of the old route. We were cheered by noticing 
five wigwams at an open, pleasant-looking spot. 



We gained admittance into the much larger 
lake Laliluie (or Rainy), by a short portage near 
the mouth of tU River Namaycan. This stream 
is short, and runi through a wild rice country. 

We had here the pleasure of shaking hands with 
our friends the American portion of the Commis- 
sion. They ha(l teurveyed along the new route 
up to that point W Fort William. 

We spent fourteen days in Rainy Lake, and had 
fine weather all the time, two days excepted. 

As neither map nor description of Rainy Lake 
has been as yet published, a few pages will now be 
devoted to its typography. {Vide Map of Route, 

vol. i.) „ J T. 

We went carefully round it, and found the sum 
of our courses tl be 294 miles, in which measure- 
ment small curvatures are not taken into account. 
We also counted 516 islands, small and great, 
besides mere rdcks, and others which we did not 

see. ' 1 Ti- 

lts length aUng the south shore from the River 
Namaycan to ^he River Lapluie, taken direct by 
compass from the map we constructed (one inch 
to one geographical mile), is thirty-eight and a 
half statute miles. The traveller would of course 

find it longer. 

From the sa|ne river Namaycan to the bottom 
of either of the two gulfs, horns, or arms, the 





distance, similarly marked ofi", is fifty statute 

miles. I 

Its breadth varies from three to thirty-one 
miles, the former occurring about the middle of 
the south shore, and the latter being taken from 
Black Bay (south shore) to Spawning River in 
the north-east arm. I 

Captain Lefroy, R.A., of the Toronto Observa- 
tory, makes this lake to be 1160 feet above the 
level of the sea, from a mean of many observations 
by barometer and boiling water. Of its depth I 
know nothing. 

The south shore of this lake, compared with the 
others, is straight. It has one large promontory, 
and three principal bays — Wapes-kartoo, Cran- 
berry, and Black. 

Wapes-kartoo is the first on the east ; it does 
not call for any remark. 

Cranberry Bay takes its name from the deli- 
cious fruit which it aff'ords. Rather more than 
half a mile from its east angle and near the main 
lies Maypole Island, a favourite sleeping-place of 
voyageurs. It may be distinguished by a tall 
pine-tree trimmed into a Maypole. 

Black Bay is a shallow, swampy water, from 
three to four miles in diameter, with a narrow 
entrance, and full of rice, rushes, and water- 



The Grand Detroit on the south shore, called 
by the Indians Wabash-gaundaga, is formed by a 
lengthened groi|p of islands and the main. It is 
nine miles long j its east end being near and east 
of Black Bay. It is part of the canoe route to 
the Lake of the Woods. One of these islands, on 
which we encainped, abounded in wild onions, 
which, although small and hard, were excellent 
in the long-boilM soup of our voyageurs. 

Close to Blacjk Bay, on a pebble beach, we saw 
a lynx standing to look at us. It looked hke a 
tall -aunt shepherd dog, with dirty white fur 
and prick ears, with pretty tufts at their ends. 
Our interpreter fired at it, but missed. The 
prudent beast did not wait for a second shot. 
Near Perch River, on this shore, five or six miles 
west of the RiVer Namaycan, we were preparing 
our night-camp, when a black and white animal, 
with a rich fuit, called a skunk {,Mephitis Ameri- 
cana), rushed i by not far from us. "In a few 
minutes," one of the men said to me, " you will 
know more about that handsome fellow:" and 
80 it was. A most abominable stench graduaUy 
infected the air, and lasted about an hour. 

The east shore of the lake from the River 
Namaycan is tolerably straight (for this lake) for 
eighteen miles, when we meet with a bay seven 
miles across at its mouth, and nine mdes deep, 



in a north-eastern direction. I have called it 
Seine Bay, from the name of a large river at its 


The north-east horn or arm commences in the 
centre of the north shore of the lake, with which 
it communicates by a pass only a few yards 
broad. The main shores are not a thousand 
yards apart, and the interval is greatly lessened 

by islands. 

It is a labyrinth, twenty-two miles long, of 
sounds, bays, and coves-here in broad sheets of 
water— there thickly studded with islands, woody, 

but seldom high. 

The main shores approach very closely in four 
or five places. One of these, at the foot of an 
expansion called Otterberry Lake, and about 
three miles from the entrance, is noted for the 
passage of bears. The Indians kill many here; 
but after a time the bears pass by some of the 
other narrows, having, without doubt, by some 
means learnt their danger. The bears subsist on 
berries, bilberries, bears' grapes, &c. which are 

* Dining in a strait where the flow of water «eems to have 
always been free, between the rivers Cormorant and ^^^^' 
I olLrved an oval hole O^etUe) in the rock, three feet d^p. 
twenty-three inches by sixteen at the top, but graduaUy narrowu^; 
^Ws the flattened' concave bottom. A cracU .n the .de^d- 
mitted the water of the lake and a few fresh -water shells. Th«^s 
another on the River Namaycan, wbick h« vase-kke riopmg hps. 




abundant, and in finest flavour 
when they hare passed a winter under snow. 
Fish is another great resource. One of our men, 
while strolling up a shallow brook, on a former 
journey, came upon a bear sitting upon his 
haunches in the water. Every now and then he 
landed a fish ©n the bank, by striking the water 
sharply with hiis paw. 

I have noWhere seen or read of shores so 
wrinkled and devious, so full of unexpected 
bifurcations, closures, and openings, as in this and 
the neighbouring horn. 

The (north^east) horn is remarkable for the 
pure, smooth, porcelain whiteness of its granite 
hills, which are often very high, and gleam 
through their scanty clothing of pine in a beau- 
tiful and singiilar manner, while the dark forests 
of cypress at their feet greatly heighten the 

general efiect^ 

At a place Where a lofty cascade falls into the 
lake with a loud roar, this kind of scenery is 
quite melodra:matiQ. It presents a somewhat new 
combination of colours in landscape— white rocks, 
black foliage , and blue lake. 

The vegetation in the bottoms is rich in oak, 
pine, cypress; poplar, and various useful fruits. 
^ In the evening I ascended the hills near this 
fall, to obtain specimens of the white granite 



before-mentioned, as well as to sup upon the 
large juicy bilberries, which lay on the ground so 
thick as to be crushed at every step. 

On my return, I found a small party of Indians 
at our camp, with whom we bartered a supper of 
fine fish for some tobacco and biscuit. 

From their leader, " Le Grand Coquin" by 
name, we procured a rude but very useful map of 
the adjacent parts of the lake ; for every Indian 
has an accurate knowledge of the district he fre- 
quents, together with great facility in map-making. 
These Indians were too familiar and lengthy in 
their visit, and more civil than was agreeable. 

On the west side of this horn, ten miles from 
its north end, in a narrow side-bay, four miles 
long, I found well-characterised prisms of beryl, 
and in two spots ; but I had no time for a careful 
search for more. 

A tempest of wind and rain overtook us in 
this neighbourhood, and detained us for two days 
in a pleasant little islet. Our camp was pitched 
in a dry grove of large cypress-trees, where the 
time passed agreeably and profitably. 

Rainy Lake being near a principal post of the 
North-west Company, and possessing in itself a 
variety of resources, we met with more Indians 
here than in any other lake. 

At the eastern angle of the mouth of the north- 



east horn, three 



or four days afterwards, we 
fell in with a numerous band of Indians, men, 
women, and children, under a chief with the 
sinister name of *' Two-hearts." Thej' were occu- 
pying a quiet cpve. As it would have been 
offensive to pas^ them by without notice, we 
landed and exchanged the pipe of peace. Our 
astronomer, well accustomed to the manners of 
the Indians, always made a point of treating them 
with that pnnctilious decorum they so much love. 

After having Received a little present of to- 
bacco, and whil0 sitting in friendly conference, 
Two-hearts said that his people had seen us fre- 
quently (we had not seen them), as well as other 
canoes of pale-faftes, holding up pieces of shining 
metal to the surt. — " Have you suffered wrong 
from any red miiin? What is your purpose in 
rambling over our waters, and putting them into 
your books?" 

Mr. Thompson replied, that we had met with 
no molestation wfiatever ; that our purpose was 
to find how far nprth the shadow of the United 
States extended, ftnd how far south the shadow of 
their great father. King George. He added, that 
the Indians would not be disturbed in any way. 

Two-hearts expressed content. 

I could not h^lp wishing that the intrusive 
white might perm it this almost extinguished race 




to hunt undisturbed, over these bleak wilds, for 
some time to come ; for I am not sure that any 
change, apart from Christianity, would add to 
the sum of human happiness. 

We have now to speak of the north-west horn. 

It occupies the north and north-west side of the 
lake. It is 21 i miles deep, and is distinguished 
by the same extreme irregularity of outline, and 
the same prolonged and devious curvatures, as 
the north-east horn ; but it is usually broader 
from main shore to main shore, and therefore of 
greater area. It runs west of, and behind. Fort 
and River Lapluie. i 

The land around is lower than that of the 
north-east horn, is often naked, or has aspens 
and willows at the water's edge — the interior 
showing great wastes of grey granite, over which 
the desolation of fire has passed. It is full of 

In this portion of the lake Mr. Astronomer 
Thompson was taken ill. We rested under a 
granite hill, while the proper remedies were suc- 
cessfully employed. The weather had been close 
and sultry in no common degree ; the heavens 
above seemed brass, and the blue lake beneath 
shone into our faces like a sheet of hot steel.* 

* Having broken my thermometer, I do not know the tempera- 
ture of the water during these days. In shallows it was very 





At the mouth pf this horn (1500 yards broad), 
near the part of the lake called Peche, nine miles 
from Fort Laplfiie, we met a merry band of 
Indian women, alone, gathering early berries 
from the rocks. We bought some for our men, 
for the prevention of scurvy. 

The islands of Lake Lapluie are counted by 
thousands — few more than two or three miles 
long : the mere rough-tracing of their shores 
would be a great and profitless labour. " They do 
not call for further remark. 

It has twelve principal rivers, including Rainy 
River, besides otiers, small, and without names. 

They are, on the east shore, the Namaycan, 
Wahschusk, Cormorant (antlers as a guide-post 
near it), and Seine River (seventy yards wide at 

warm. Colonel Delafield favoured me with the following table of 
temperature, taken in Beep waters, two feet below the surface : — 

Day of Montb . 

1823. June 




Lake Superior 
Pigeon River . 
Outard Lake . 
Mountain . . 
Boisblanc . . 
Crooked . . 
Lacroix . . 
Vermillion Lake 
Namaycan . . 
Lapluie River . 
Ditto . . . 
Lake Lapluie . 















the mouth). In the north-east horn, Turtle and 
Spawning Rivers. In the north-west horn, 
Manitou-saugee (fine falls), Nah-katchiwon (from 
near White-fish Lake). On the west shore, Little 
Peche and Lapluie Rivers ; and on the south 
shore, Wah-ciiusk-wateep-pear,Wapeskartookow, 
and Perch Rivers. These are of good size, and 
navigable by canoes. 

Mr. Thompson found the magnetic variation to 
be 1 1° east, both at the upper parts of the north- 
east horn (August 5th, 182;3), and on the south 
shore, near Rainy River (August 11). It was 10° 
east at the mouth of the River Namaycan. 

Every one of the series of lakes we have been 
passing through has its own set of water-levels, 
from one to five horizontal lines, usually green or 
yellow, and formed of the surface-scum of the 
waters, which, by the bye, are almost always of 
the most excellent quality. The larger the lake, 
the greater the range of water-lines. 

The highest line or level in Lake Lapluie was 
five feet above that of the time of my visit. This 
was well seen on the north shore, opposite the 
Grand Detroit, and in the Peche district. 

The Rainy Lake and its vicinity is naturally a 
good fur country ; but its proximity to the United 
States keeps the stock low, as its commerce can- 
not be confined to the Hudson's Bay Company. 





Fort and River Lapluie -Hudson's Bay Company— Indian Mas- 
sacre—Lake of the y cods — Murder Rock — War-road River 

— Driftwood Point -4 Monument Bay — North-west Comer of 
the Lake — The Rat Portage - The Nectam — River Winnepeg 

— Red Cliff Bay — Mlhitefish Lake - Isle of the Yellow Girl — 
Portage des Bois — Turtle Portage — The Thunder Bird— River 

A THOUSAND years ago, while yet our England 
was a wolfish den, the silver Trent of the midland 
counties must hav^ greatly resembled the Lapluie 
of the present day. I am not sure that the fur 
trader, an Italian perhaps, had not a hut on its 
banks ; but certainly, at the time we are speaking 
of, both these streams flowed smoothly and freely 
in a succession of lovely and sequestered reaches, 
and through terraced meadows, alternating with 
rich woods and reedy marshes. 



The Lapluie seems made for a pleasure excur- 
sion ; all is serenity and beauty. The winds can 
seldom come near, in summer at least ; and as 
to rocks beneath, there are none, save in a very 
few places, and easily avoided. At the mouth of 
any of the tributary streams, during most of the 
open season, a net will secure a supper — nay, I 
am told that sometimes the canoe can hardly get 
along from the number of fish. In the autumn 
the gun will bring down a score of pigeons, a wild 
duck, or a swan. | 

We entered the River Lapluie on the 14th day 
of July by the rapids at its head (120 yards broad) 
in two sets, the upper caused by a low, rocky isle, 
the lower by a greenstone ledge. Having passed 
these without difficulty, we arrived in a basin 
1300 yards Avide, but soon contracting again. 

Two miles and a half then brought us to the 
Cataracts. These are two, a higher and a lower. 
The first descends ten feet, and the second 
twenty feet, with a boisterous interval of fifty 
yards. I 

A few hundred yards below this last cascade, 
within the hearing of its roar, is the Hudson's 
Bay fort, Lapluie. It is on the north bank of 
the river, a cleared, alluvial terrace, fifty feet 
above the water. 




The fort is a se; of timber dwelling-houses, 
stores, stabling, ScQ., forming a hollow square, 
protected by strong picketing and heavy gates, 
? Near to these last is a small hole in the picket, 
through which to pass articles in unsafe times. 
High above all is a Vooden platform, ascended by 
a ladder, and used as a look-out. 

The fort is quite safe from a coup-de-main of 
the Indians, but at present there is no fear of any 
such event. I 

We were cordially received by Dr. M'Loughlin, 
the Governor, a chi^f factor of great energy and 
experience. He has since been several years Go- 
vernor of Fort Vancouver, on the River Columbia, 
and has taken a leading part in founding the city 
of Oregon. He is the same gentleman whose 
narrow escape from drowning in Lake Superior 
I have noticed. 

Our fare in the port was primitive — chiefly 
damper (scorched bsflls of dough), potatoes, and 
fish, wine, coffee, arid tea. We partook of the 
same food as our hos^s, and were thankful ; but I 
•was rather surprised that the fat meadows about 
did not produce be^f and mutton. I well re- 

member, gourmands 
fort purposely before 

as we were, that we left the 
twelve o'clock, on our way 

down the river, and dined on our own more sub- 



stantial fare on an island out of sight, some hun- 
dred yards below. Our life-errant in the open 
air for months had given us ravenous appetites. 

Walking out, the morning after our arrival, 
with Mr. W. M'Gillivray, the Lieut.-Governor, 
I saw on the opposite side of the river some build- 
ings, and a tall, shabby-looking man, angling near 
the falls. I asked my companion what all that 
meant. He replied, " The two or three houses you 
see form a fur-trading post of John Jacob Astor, 
the great merchant of New York. The man is one 
of his agents. He is fishing for a dinner. If he 
catch nothing he will not dine. He and his party 
are contending with us for the Indian trade. We 
are starving them out, and have nearly succeeded." 

The expedients for preventing a rival from en- 
tering a rich fur country are sometimes decisive. 
Every animal is advisedly exterminated, and the 
district is ruined for years. 

Permit rue here, as perhaps the most proper 
place, to state the conclusion I came to respecting 
the treatment of the Indians by the Hudson's Bay 

They are based upon the personal knowledge 
(limited, indeed) which I acquired at the several 
stations we passed through, and still more upon 
extensive inquiries made of persons acquainted 
with the distant stations. 


— (- 





Where I state what I saw I expect to be be- 
lieved, whatever others may have seen at other 
times and in other places. My opinions and in- 
ferences must be taken for what they are worth. 

I have no connexion with the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and do not know by sight any indi- 
vidual belonging to it. 

My conviction is, that their sway is a great 
blessing to the Indians. True it is, however, that 
it might readily be made more so, because there 
are important errors of detail capable of removal. 
The whole, almost boundless, region under their 
management, five millions of square miles, is at 
peace. None of those slaughters en masse, or so- 
litary murders, that are now of daily occurrence 
along the western border of the United States, 
from the Valley of the Saskatchawine to the fron- 
tiers of Mexico, take place within the territories 
of this Company, or with extreme rareness. 

Within their dominions every man's life, family, 
and goods, are safe. Order and ready obedience 
everywhere prevail. 

A man's ability in the occupations peculiar to 
the country is known, and he is treated, I have 
every reason to believe, with tolerable fairness. 
He knows that his reward is at hand, and certain, 
though small, for the Company are prompt pay- 



When distress from famine, sickness, inunda- 
tions, or any other public calamity, arises, the 
Company steps forth to assist, and expects no 
return. VVhen its hunters are worn out, they and 
their young families are provided for as a recom- 
pense for past services. It is the interest as well 
as the duty of this corporate body of merchants 
so to treat the natives, but this cannot be done 
by private traders in the midst of competition, 
and only thinking of the gain of the day. 

The result is, that the Indians of Hudson's Bay 
are not decreasing, although they are, and rapidly, 
in the southern latitudes, under much more fa- 
vourable natural circumstances. To be stout, or 
even fat, and in good humour, was the rule 
among the Indians we met with. The ravening, 
meagre figures, who loiter about the sea-board 
towns of America, the modern representatives of 
the " masterless man" of the middle ages, we 
rarely or never saw. 

These are great facts. My feeling, therefore, 
is, that the Hudson's Bay Company ought to p^- 
sess the exclusive privilege of trading with the 
Indians dwelling in this portion of North America 
BOW under consideration, and that to deprive 
them of it would be, on the part of Parliament, a 
step most impolitic, and followed instantaneously 
by disorder, crime, and misery. 

I am confirmed in this opinion by the nature of 

' 1 





these territories, their distance from human inspec- 
tion and authority, by the ignorance inconse- 
quence, irritability and waywardness of the In- 
dians, ever the victim and sport of their own 
wild passions. 

I hardly need here observe that it is the duty 
of the Company, as speedily as possible, to remove 
this state of pupillage, and not to allow it to sub- 
sist as an excuse for keeping these aborigines in 

To throw open the fur trade would inevitably 
do away with every present advantage, arid-would 
render impossible all attempts at religious and 
social improvement. 

This vast region, hidden from all eyes, would be 
filled with unprincipled and daring adventurers, 
looking only to the gain of the moment, and rival- 
ling each other in violence and libertinism. 

A few years would see the extermination both 
of the fur-bearing animals and of the natives 

The murderous contentions, which have not 
been put down many years,* would be renewed 

* It was only in 1848 that the Cree Indians residing near Fort 
Ktt, on a branch of the Saskatchawine in the Hudson's Bay tern- 
tories, massacred a party of nineteen Blackfeet Indians, who hap- 
pened to approach too near their camp.— C4. JUtM. Record, Feb 

This must be a very unusual event, and, it is hoped, has met 
with due punishment. 



under new captains, with the Indian onslaught, — 
" fear in front and death in the rear,"— as of old ; 
scenes of which I took many notes from the lips 
of the traders : but man was not created to fur- 
nish incidents for the novelist, nor a gallery of 
battles for Versailles. 

One such story, I think, may not be out of 
place here. | 

In picturesque barbarity, it is such as Wal- 
ter Scott might have told of a clan of Scottish 
Highlanders in the fourteenth century. It only 
happened in 1810, and exemplified the misrule 
then prevailing in the Indian countries. 

I was dining one day as usual in the canoe, on 
Lake Superior, when an old voyageur began to tell 
the tale to his next neighbour ; but hearing it im- 
perfectly, I asked the astronomer about it. He 
said it was all true, and happened when he was in 
the vicinity. j 

Twenty Iroquois and four white men had hunted 
unsuccessfully the Lake of the Woods, the Win- 
nepeg River and Lake, and high up the River 
Saskatchawine. I 

They then heard that there was game on the 
Bow River, a southern feeder of the Saskatcha- 

Mr. Hughes and other traders, living at a fort 
some fifty miles from the Bow country, entreated 

i,»U-/->, ,,, 

-/> 3 (,-» 




these hunters not to go there ; but they were all 
brave, experienced, and poor; so they went. 

Soon after they appeared on the rolling mea^ 
dows (with here and there a patch of poplars or 
alders), of which the district consists, the lawful 
occupants regiding near a cascade, and therefore 
called the Ball Indians, fell in with the new- 
comers. I 

After conisel taken, it was resolved either to 
make the strangers pay tribute for their hunt, or 
drive them away. " This." said they, " may be 
only the first of many such bands. We shall be 

They now 

sent two spies to the Iroquois camp, 

who reported twenty-four determined men, armed 

to the teeth. 

A week or two afterwards, no offence in the 
interval having been given or taken, twenty-five 
or thirty Falls entered the camp of the new- 
comers, which was pitched on a creek bordered 
with balsam-poplars, with their muskets charged 
with powde* only— not witk ball, be it remembered. 

They came with professions of amity, and had a 
long talk— whether payment for their trespass was 
agreed upon, or what other proffers and promises 
were made— is not known, but all parties became 
so kindly a»d confidential, that the Fall Indians 
ventured to remind the Iroqoois, that it was an 



old custom in the plains for friends to change 
guns. All started to their feet ; and the exchange 
was instantly made, when the Falls stepping back 
a pace or two, each shot his man. All fell dead 
or mortally wounded, except two whites and an 


The latter ran off, but was followed and kUled. 

A chief tried hard to save the whites— to make a 
present of them to Bras Croche (the nam de guerre 
of Mr. AlesamUr M'Donald, a favourite trader), 
at a fort some miles distant. 

He obtained a reluctant and imperfect consent 
to their lives being spared, and the party set off 

for the fort. 

But the chief made the whites walk imme- 
diately before him, and close behind some of his 

young men. 

One of the whites, an elderly man, as they 
were trudging on, wished to go aside for some 
temporary purpose. " No," said his protector; 
" if you do, you die." The man, however, per- 
haps from not knowing exactly what was said to 
him, stepped out of the line of march, and was m 
a moment shot dead. 

The chief then wrapped his blanket closer about 
him and called out, « Young men, it is not worth 
while going to the fort with one white ; the shnek 
of the Blackfeet may perhaps be even now heard 



round, and 


in our villajje, and the scalps of our wives already 

borne away," The last of the twenty-four did not 

"live five minutes more. The Indians wheeled 

went full trot home. 

In 1815 the unauthorised and wicked subordi- 
nates of th( North-west Company shot down like 
carrion birds seventeen unarmed men (one an offi- 
cer of Scotcji Fencibles), belonging to Lord Selkirk, 
in a grass-field at the Red River Settlement. 

The best endeavours of the Government of the 
United Stages are now put forth in vain to prevent 
the robberies and wholesale murders resulting 
from unrestrained intercourse between the white 
and red ra^es of men ; and this because they em- 
ploy troop^ and diplomatic agents instead of an 
exclusive tMing company under the inspection of 
public officers. 

I must riow state, that at the Hudson's Bay posts 
I visited Inm did not appear to be the staple 
article of Jxchange, neither was it used as a means 
of throwing the Indian off his guard. 

Some was given, perhaps, because the southern 
boundary line was near, on which less scrupulous 
rivals had stations. Doubtless, too, rum is dis- 
tributed in the Rocky Mountains, because the 
neighbouring distilleries of Oregon within the 
limits of the United States are ready to supply 
ardent spirits to all comers. 



The great bulk of the trade lay in necessaries, 
blankets, gunpowder, lead, knives, guns, cooking- 
pots, pomatum,* &c. 

Lord Lincoln, in the parliamentary session of 
1849, made a speech (uiost probably a mere party 
speech), in which he complained that 7000 gallons 
of rum were consumed here in 1847. Bt^tw>t 
is this in so rigorous a climate, and in so vast a 
region ? A single London gin-shop distributes as 
much in the same time (18 gallons a-day). There 
are 200 fur-stations and their outposts to be sup- 
plied, and not only natives, but the Company's 


I am aware, as Col. Crofton (lately resident at 
the Red River Settlement) has said, that the sale 
of spirits was at one time totally prohibited by a 
general order. The circumstances which have led 
to its partial resumption I do Jiot know. 

So earnest in the cause of temperance have the 
Hudson's Bay Company been, that they stipulated, 
in a recent treaty with the Russian Association of 
Fur Traders, for the total disuse in trade of ardent 
spirits in their territories. 

I am persuaded that the influence of this Com- 

* Pomatum is, or was lately, a favourite medicine among the 
Indians, taken in scruple doses, and sovereign in many cases. Why 
not ? 

1 ^11 




pany is actively used on the side of morality. At 
the forts I obserred great order, sobriety, and 
economy, with a marked cheerfulness in the faces 
of all, save in those, perhaps, of one or two old 
clerks, who thought they had not met with due 

1 There were no outward and visible improprieties. 
As in India, a better social tone has arisen in 
these wastes, and it will soon receive a new 

Little or nothing has been done until lately by 
the Hudson's Bay Company, as a body, for the 
Christian instruction of the Indians, but some of 
their servants have made isolated efforts. The 
East India and New Zealand Companies have 
done as little. 

What has been effected is almost wholly due to 
the Church and Wesleyan Missionary Societies of 
England. But a fairer prospect is now opening 
upon these countries in the enlightened labours of 
the excellent Bishop Anderson, who has just ar- 
rived at the Red River Settlement, which may be 
called the capital of Rupert's Land. It is to be 
hoped that he will be the vigilant and fearless pro- 
tector of the red race in their best interests, tem- 
poral and spiritual. But I fear he can do but 
little with a flock sprinkled in scores on spots in 



an arctic climate from 100 to 500 miles apart, 
and whose subsistence requires continual change 

of abode. 

A nomade population like that of the Plains 
and Rocky Mountains require at present less 
a principal shepherd than a number of under- 
pastors, to watch over the Indians with that in- 
cessant and minute personal care which they 
especially need— a care which must descend to the 
smallest details of general life. 

It seems to me that the will of the testator who 
provided the funds for this new bishopric (a great 
boon) would have been more truly and beneficially 
carried out, if one of the clergymen now at the 
Red River — such as the Rev. Mr. Cockran, an 
experienced and able labourer in this mission- 
had been made an archdeacon, with an increased 
salary for travelling expenses ; and the rest of the 
noble legacy had been expended, for twenty years 
to come, on one or two additional missionaries, and 
on schoolmasters and catechists. At present a 
solitary bishop absorbs the whole, living in a small 
group of villages with a population of perhaps 
3000 — Wesleyans and Roman Catholics in great 
numbers, as well as Episcopalians, and 1000 and 
2000 miles apart from important portions of bis 

The inhabitants of Rupert's Land certainly 



submit to many grievances, but to none without 
remedy, or of sufficient moment to call for a with- 
drawal of the charter. 

Of these I will only mention the exorbitant and 
almost incredible price of European goods, of 
which the Copipany, directly or indirectly, has 
the monopoly. A cotton handkerchief, perhaps 
worth a shilling in England, costs in Hudson's 
Bay 1/. 12s. 6d. ; and all other articles in pro- 
portion, according to the tariff furnished by the 
Company to ^r. Murray for his account of Brit- 
ish North Ame|rica ; thirty-three per cent on the 
prime cost bejng at the same time sufficient to 
cover the expenses of transit. 

The Company is accused of being averse to 
colonization : and it may be so, any further than 
is necessary to support their stations. Their busi- 
ness is to buy and sell furs — not to promote emi- 
gration. As for coloniiing their territories east of 
the Rocky Mountains at present, the idea is pre- 
posterous. A large part is irremediably barren, 
consisting of vast deserts of sand, gravel, and 
bowlders, of rocky, moss-covered barren$, im- 
mense lakes and morasses. Most of it is from 
2000 to 3000 feet above the level of the sea, and 
exposed to the fhll force of the arctic cold. Within 
the last three years Fahrenheit's thermometer has 
stood at 50° below zero at the Red River settle- 



ment, close to the south frontier, where, never- 
theless, the short, hot summer, sometimes abun- 
dantly rewards the cultivator ofthe rich soil around. 

Let the fertile lands of New Brunswick and 
Upper Canada, &c., first be occupied and subdued. 

To proceed with our voyage down the River 


Its descent took up two delightfully placid days, 
although aided by its always sensible and often 
strong current. 

It is estimated to be eighty-five miles long, and 
runs westerly, with considerable bends, however, 
north and south, through a level country. No- 
thing like a hill is ever seen, but one, where 
there is a small hummock of sienite. 

Vegetation is everywhere abundant; the trees 
—elm, basswood, oak, pine, birch, and poplar — 
are often large and healthy. Usually they are 
mixed ; but we often sail by a single species of 
tree for a mile together, according to the nature 

of the soil. 

I am informed that these fine woods do not ex- 
tend far back from the river, the land generally 
sinking into swamps. 

- The meadows (sometimes deserted clearances)* 
are loaded profusely with strong tall grasses and 

* As to settling on this river, many things are desirable besides 
fertility. The drawbacks here are overpowering. They are, a long 

i ii 



flowers. I htad difficulty in making my way for a 
mile through one of these, near the Long Sault 
Rapids. I ^as sometimes up to my shoulders in 
About ni 

e miles above the entrance of the 
river into the Lake of the Woods willows begin to 
abound, and then we enter extensive marshes of 
tall reeds and rushes, which gradually become 
broader, until the dry banks of the river and their 
hard wood i|re out of sight, and we finally are 
sailiiTg over the shallows of the lake. 

Excepting the marshy districts just mentioned, 
the banks of the Laplnie are alluvial, with ooe 
or two terraces behind, from twenty to fifty feet 
high. ' 

Although there is some black loam, the soil in 
general is aj mixture of grey clay, sand, yellow 
limestone grit, and decomposed vegetation, well 
seen opposite Little Fork River. 

We just see enough of the rocks of this district 
to show that it is most probably (or certainly) un- 
derlaid by horizontal yellow limestone (Silurian), 
resting on sienite and greenstone. 

During thp first four miles below Fort Lapluie 

and severe winter, total want of society, and of the means of edu- 
cation, dearness of many necessaries, and insecurity of life and 
property. The Lapluie is a frontier liver, and therefore liable to 
devastation in the time of war. 



the north shore is lined with a breccia of primitive 
pebbles in a cakareous cement. The beaches and 
banks are everywhere strewn with masses of lime- 
stone, some of them more than a ton in weight ; 
and this especially near the Lake of the Woods. 
They must be in situ, or very near, and have been 
split up by the thaws and frosts of spring. 

The water of the River Lapluie is excellent, 
and very clear, except near the mouths of tribu- 
tary streams, where it is discol(Mired by the clays 
or ferruginous matters over which Uw latter have 


The river ranges in breadth from 200 to 400 
yards, until we come to within fifteen raiks of its 
mouth, when the width gradually increases, until 
we come down to the marshes already spoken of. 
Contractions, however, take place at the only 
two rapids which occur below the fort. 

The first is the Maniton Rapid, from thirty to 
thirty-five miles below the Hudstm's Bay post, at a 
rocky narrow. They are not k)ng, but violent, and 
include one short slant of from eighteen to twenty- 
four inches perpendicular, succeeded by billows, 
' eddies, and back-water. Our tow-rope broke on 
our return at the sharpest spot, and the canoe with 
her men were all but lost {timer— pallor). 

The Long Sault Rapid is seven or eight mUes 
lower down, and is two miles and a half long— 



powerful but 


variable. They are caused in one 
part by an iHand ; in others, by a narrowing of 
the river-bed, by shallows, and drift-wood. 

There are twelve islands — small, woody, single, 
or in pairs. I 

Sable Islapd, at the mouth, is five and a half 
miles long, and made up of sand-hillocks and 
granite-mounds. It bears willows and aquatic 

The riversj entering the Lapluie are large, and 
often very lojng. 

The principal are eight in number. The first 
from above enters from the south, and is called 
the Little Fork. A Canadian named Roy has 
cleared the east side of its mouth, and built a house. 
An extensive meadow is all the farm I saw ; but I 
did not landi. 

I understand that the Wesleyan Missionary 
Society has established a mission here under Mr. 
Peter Jones, a converted Indian. 

Judging fjfom what I saw of him in England a 
few years agp, he is well qualified for the work. 
As the number of tractable Indians within reach 
is here great, and as the means of support are 
easily obtained, I am sorry that excellent society 
did not send to this place a regular mission-staff, 
as explained in p. 322, vol. i. 

Such is the only true method of doing extensive 



and ])erraanent good ; but I suppose they desired 
to proceed cautiously. | , 

The next is the Valley River, coming: in from 
the north ( ? ), hemmed in by very high banks, but 
which, as we proceed up it, subside into marshes 
filled with diminutive spruce. The mosquitoes 
were unusually distressing at this place. 

Three miles lower down we come to the Great 
Fork. It enters from the south, and comes from • 
near Lake Cassina, once supposed to be the source 
of the Mississippi, and six or eight days' journey 
from hence. This stream is one hundred yards 
wide at its mouth, with high woody banks on one 
side and swamps on the other. Three miles fur- 
ther down Ave meet, ou the south bank, with the 
Black River, both large and long. 

Near the head of the Long Sault Meadows, seven 
miles below the rapid of that name, the Oak River 
enters amid a grove of oaks^ growing on high 

Next we have Rapid River, on the south bank, 
flowing in from a circular basin edged with grass. 
The river leaps into the basin by a cascade, beyond 
which we see high walls bounding a fierce rapid. 

A few miles downwards bring us to Stee[> Bank 
River; and then, at an interval of two miles, we 
come to the River Baudet, called by the Indians, 
" The River of the Bitter Side of tlie Ribs." It is 

vpL. IT. U 

si: i 


' I 




at the moutp from 100 to 130 yards broad, much 
choked withi rushes and grass. I have been in- 
duced to set down these topographical details so 
fully, because I do not know where else they can 
be had. 

We now enter the Lake of the Woods with 
pleased and inquisitive eyes ; but before proceed- 
ing further it will be well to make a few brief 
observations on its leading features. 

The Lake of the Woods is not so much one 
body of watfer as three, connected by short straits, 
through which either ships or canoes can freely 
pass. They are very different in size/shape, and 
aspect. Th(j southern division is aptly named by 
the Indians " The Lake of the Sand Hills," or 
" Parpequalwungar ;" the northern is called by 
them the " ij^ake of the Woods," or " Kaminitik ;" 
and the eastern, " Whitefish Lake." With its 
Indian appejllation I am not acquainted. 

The two flrst-named, taken together, run north- 
erly, and afe 400 miles in circumference. We 
made their circuit in ten long, laborious summer 
days. I 

The Lake of the Sand Hills, from which Rainy 
River proceeds, is by far the largest, being 
seventy-seven statute miles wide, from east to 
west, near the parallel of Reed River ; its greatest 
length from Rainy River to Lake Kaminitik, at 




the narrows, being fifty-one miles; and it is thirty- 
two miles across from Rainy River to its northern 
shore, — a great promontory soon to be mentioned. 
It is extremely irregular in shape. Four-fifths 
of its surface is wholly, or nearly, free from 
islands; but it has very many on the east and 
north. Other particulars will come out in the 
course of our voyage. 

It is divided on the north from the Lake of the 
Woods, as named by the Indians, by a veiy large, 
oblong promontory, but which is So hemmed in 
by Whitefish Lake that it is nearly an island. 
This promontory is thirty miles long from its 
base near Whitefish Lake, and advances west- 
ward to within six miles of the western shore of 
the lake, there meeting two large islands, which 
occupy most of the interval. It is twenty miles 
broad near Whitefish Lake, and fourteen near its 
west end, a few miles east of Portage des Bois, 
a carrying-place, created by a singular meeting of 
two deep, narrow cul-de-sacs, one on each side of 
the promontory ; which makes the commercial 
route from the Rainy River to the north end of 
the Lake only seventy-five or eighty miles. 

The northern and upper division of the Lake of 
the Woods, called Kaminitik, is an irregular ob- 
long twenty-four miles in length northerly. Its 
greatest breadth of twenty-eight miles occurs at the 


(I .i 




deep inlet called Dry berry Bay; but its average 
breadth is from ten to twelve miles. 

Of \Vhitefish Lake, the little we know is found 
a few pages onwards. 

These bodies of water are interesting in their- 
characters, but jvery dissimilar. 

The Lake of the Sand Hills resembles a lagoon 
in Holland, in its shallow waters and low, sandy 
shores of regular outline, belted with pines, wil- 
lows, reeds, and rice plants. « 

The Lake Kanjiinitik is a maze of rocky islets and 
deep sounds, lik^ the gneiss lakes we have passed 
through; while ^Vhitefish Lake wears the general 
features of the Usalt lakes of the old route. 

The map which accompanies these pages has 
been reduced from the large one (one inch to two 
geographical miles), constructed by order of the 
Boundary Commission, the present Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs ijiaving very liberally allowed me 
access to it in the archives of the Foreign Office. 
It is not from trigonometrical survey, but made 
by fixing fifteen Jirincipal points on the lake at 
about equal distances from each other, by obser- 
vations for latitude and longitude, and then filling 
up the intervals by compass and log or estimate, 
—our rate of goijng having been found to be 120 
yards per minute^ or rather less than four miles 
per hour. A degree of accuracy is thus attained. 




quite sufficient for practical purposes. To have 
attempted more would have incurred useless delay 
and expense. 

As the Lake of the Woods is of importance in 
a national point of view, as the point of departure 
westward of a great boundary line, and is a por- 
tion of the route from the Canadas to the Red 
River settlement, the Buffalo Plains, and the 
regions beyond, and as it has never been circum- 
navigated either before or since, it may be well to 
bestow a few pages on its topography. 

Having advanced a few hundred yards out of 
the River Lapluie, if we look into the Lake of the 
Sand Hills we have on the west open waters, 
with a few black spots marking so many emerged 
rocks; no shore is visible in that direction ;— it 
has sunk under the horizon. In front (north) 
there is a compact belt of woody islands from fifty 
to a hundred feet high, and five or six miles off. 
On the north-east and east the islands ace con- 
tinued, and there is seen a low mainland of sand 
and hummocks of rock. 

We did not pursue the usual commercial route, 
which runs directly north from the River LapWie. 
We were ordered to go round the lake, to dis- 
cover, if possible, its most north-western corner, 
and therefore turned off to the west, and kept as 


i I ii 




close to the fjouth shore as the shallow waters 

launched into the lake, it was per- 
ceived that wi; were in a new region. Two fine 
were soaring over our heads, with 
white bodies and black wings. Hitherto, throu"-h- 
ont our whplejjourneyings, we had noticed very 
few birds. Aiti hour or two afterwards were ob- 
served flights of geese, swans, and a solitary crane 
or two winging their way to the marshes. Hun- 
dreds of small grey gulls were hovering about the 
solitary mounds that dotted the lake shore. On 
one of these we landed, and found it so covered 
with their eggs that we unavoidably crushed 
them at every step. They proved very acceptable 
to our men; neither were we too nice to partake 
of them. I ' , 

In sailing allong, we found the south and south- 
west borders of the lake to be mere sand-flats and 
dunes,-7-the latter capped with small poplars and 
other stunted trees. All around, landwards and 
lakewards, weife lagoons and marshes. 

The lake is extremely shallow, — not mojie-than 
from eighteen to twenty-four inches deep a mile 
or more from shore, with a bottom of white clay, 
sand, or weeds. 

Four or fivej 'biiles from the River Lapluie, the 



shallows begin to be crowded with erratic blocks 
of great size; one of which, perched upon a gra- 
nite mound (seventeen miles from Lapluie), must 
have weighed fifty tons. They line the coast in 
inconvenient numbers ; for, as far as Driftwood 
Point, there is some difficulty in getting near dry 


"While thus coasting along, about ten miles west 
of the River Lapluie, an island was pointed out 
to me in the offing, which ought to be called 
Murder Rock. It is a mere mound, bare and 
low, about eighty yards long. 

Sixty years ago some Indians there murdered 
a Roman Catholic missionary and his five or six 
.boatmen. The only favour shown to the poor, 
priest-was that of being killed last. 

While they were massacreing his people m 
some deliberately revolting way he kept running 
up and down the little patch of rock, muttering 
supplications, less to the savages thrfn to his 

God. ! . 

The lone, wild rock, the foul waters, the 
wretched morasses around, seemed to fit the 
deed. The Indians themselves told the story, 
and were probably punishing the innocent for 
some bygone wrong committed by others. 

In due time we arrived at the bottom of a wide, 
indented curvature in the south-west shore, and 



r / '' Head (see map), 

which had strayed 
plajns, seventy 9r 

interval hetween 
great plains. It 

River); but altht) 
the settlement on 

noted that it gavj passage to the Muskeg, or 
War-road River, — names sufficiently, indicative 
of its character and uses, ^' muskeg'-'being the 
Indian word for ' morass." 

We then proceeded to encamp near Buffalo 
..ead (see map), the norih-west angle of this 
great bay; and so called from a tradition that 
a buffalo, or rathe i- a, bison, w>ts once killed there, 
I from its companions in the great 
eighty miles distant. 
The War-roal ^iver is fifty yard? broad at its 
mouth, and drams the marshes which occupy the 
this and the lied River bf the 
rises in or near Reed Lake (a 

large and shallop' lake communicating with Red 

ugh this is the direct route to 
lue sciu.c^c.... v,.^ the last-named river, it is only 
used by the Indians on account of a long and 
troubleson>e portjage. ^ 

The water of t^ lake had always been green- 
ish from, within seven miles ofMie River Lapluie ; 
but in Muskeg Bay and its neighbourhood, for 
miles from dantj, it was filled with dead shad 
flies ^nd rdttin^ marsh-plants. The paddles 
moved heavily Jhrough it, and it could not be 
drunk until strained, and then it was turbid and 

•We slept near 

Buffalo Head, where the land is 



rather higher and drier than elsewhere, and bears 
some young hardwood trees. 

Within a few yards of our encamping-ground 
was a wintering-house of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, in which I had great hopes of residing 
during the coming winter ; but as the work was 
finished sooner than was expected, I was disap- 

It ought to be mentioned, that red, fawfl^colour- 
ed, and white limestone, abounding in fine Silurian 
fosfils, are in such large sharp-edged blocks that 
it must be in situ close by, and most probably 
underlies all this western portion of Sand-hill 

In the Lake Kaniinitik we saw no calcareous 
debris ; every fragment of rock was primitive. 

The next day we proceeded northerly along 
the skirts of three or four bays, passing Reed 
River in the first of them, to Driftwood Point, or 
Cape Embarras, on this west shore ; the style of 
country remaining much the same as in Muskeg 

Driftwood Point is thirty miles direct from the 
River Lapluie, and is a broad tongue of marsh 
and shingle, so heaped up with snow-white drift- 
wood as to have received its name from the fact. 

Our Indian guide and myself landed, and ran 
along this beach for two or three miles. He was 



a little before nKs, and disturbed a wolf smelling 
at a dead fish ; and soon after we came upon a 
lynx standing still, all a-drip with water. My 
companion fired at him and missed. We heard 
a plunge into a cove and saw it no more. 

Nearly opposite Driftwood Point, and five 
miles in the offing, is a considerable island^v^iich 
we call Cornfield Island, for we observed thereaX 
little plot of pot£ttoes and beans, about a quartep/ 
of an acre, planted by Indians. Upon the whole, 
these people ar^ discouraged from agricultural 
efforts, as, while they are necessarily away at 
some hunting o\r fishing-ground, the produce is 
liable to be taken by strangers on travel. 

Seven or eight miles north of this, among 
savannahs, gras$y shores, and groups oiLamall 
larch, we enter a strait between the main and an 
archipelago of islands, leaving henceforth the 
shallow expanses of a limestone district for the 
wrinkled shore3 and crowds of islands always , 
met with in a primitive district. 

We are, in fa(|t, at the south angle of what may 
be called Monument Bay (three miles across and^ 
opposite Shebashca), on whose north-west side is 
the most north-western- corner of the Lake of the 
Woods, sought for as the termination of the 
water-line undeii the seventh article of the Treaty 
of Ghent, and so determined in 1842 by Lord 



Ashburton and Mr. Webster, aided by Dr. Tiarks 
and other astronomers. * | 

I am informed at the Foreign Office that a 
satisfactory conclusion was arrived at by passing 
an imaginary north-east line (on paper) west- 
wards over the face of the lake, touching and 
leaving, successively, the curvatures and inden- 
tures of the west main-shore, the last touched and 
most westerly being then assumed to be the most 
north-western, and the point desired. 

This takes place at the bottom of a narrow, 
marshy cul-de-sac, eight miles and a half deep, 
at the northern part of the bay across whose mouth 
we are now j»assing. It is in north latitude 
49° 23' 55", and west longitude 95° 14' 38". It is 
3' south of the parallel of the Portage des Bois, 
and 32' on its west. 

A stone monument has been erected to mark 
the place, two-thirds of a mile from the end of 
the inlet ; perhaps on account of the wetness of 
the ground at the exact spot. 

From this point, according to treaty, a line 
is carried due south to the 49th parallel of 

* Upon this point the original commissionens, Mr. Barclay and 
General Porter, could not agree. The matter, not being of imme- 
diate and pressing importance, was suffered to remain in suspense. 
It was thought advisable by the British Government, about 1841, 
that Dr. Tiarks should make a personal inspection of the Lake of 
the Woods, which he accordingly did. 




. i I 



no^th latitude, v hich parallel,, from thence to the 
Rocky Mountains westwards, is the boundary 
between the tvvoi nations concerned. 

The boundarjj-line from the great lakes, and 
eastward, meanwhile, has been advanced directly 
hitherwards frop Rainy River, and passes at the 
mouth of arid within Monument Bay certain 
islands, which afe numbered on the oflticial list. 

Great advant&ges arise from the adoption of 
this parallel of latitude, as, with more or less 
exactness, it rujis along the dividing-ridge, the 
water-shed of thje two great hydrographic systems 
of the Mississippji and of Hudson's Bay. It, there- 
fore, takes away from Great Britain any pretence 
for entering the waters of the Mexican Gulf 
from its tributaries, while it excludes the United 
States from Rupert's Land and its streams. Thle 
height of land thjus felicitously selected is a natural 
geographical boundary. 

Doubtless in 1783 a better bargain might have 
been made, wl^ich would ha^ placed under 
British sway thej feeders of the Missouri and the 
rich prairies of Iowa. But have wp not as much 
as we can manage ? [ . 

Any deviation! from this line mignt have been 
productive of serious misunderstandings. If re- 
moved a few miles to the north, it would have 
given to the Uniked States the Red River Settle- 




ment, while a parallel a little more southerly 
would have placed a British fort on the Missouri. 

Besides the advantages just hinted at, this 
boundary gives to the United States access to the 
more valuable furs of the north. 

New and arbitrary arrangements were made 
to obtain this boundary for Central North Ame- 
rica, which bear evident marks of the far-sighted- 
ness of Dr. Franklin, one of the four American 
diplomatists employed in concluding the treaty 
of 1783. I 

We see that the treaty of 1783 ordered, first, 
that the water-boundary should end at the north- 
west corner of the Lake of the Woods. Secondly, 
that from that point a line should drop south on 
the 49th parallel ; and, thirdly, that this inter- 
secting point should be the starting-place of the 
..boundary westwards to the Rocky Mountains. 

Now, in the sixth article, the line always pur- 
sued the shortest course from the outlet to the 
head of each lake, leaving, in Lake Huron, the 
lion's share to Great Britain ; but, in the seventh 
article, this principle is departed from as to Lake 
Superior, in order that the boundary should leave 
at the Pigeon River, and so to move along the 
old route to the north-west corner of the Lake of 
the Woods. This assigns to the United States 
Isle Royale, a fine island, now the seat of pro- 



• i 


several smal 
couptry, it is 

sperous copper mining, and all the west end of' 
-., Lake Superior, with a full quarter of its north 

; To return to our coasting voyage. From 
Monument IJay, on our route to the Rat Portage, 
we skirted every bay, and entered sufficiently 
within them to kefep the true main in view. 
I have no doubt but that we passed unnoticed 
rivers, becapuse, in a low, woody 
not easy to see itn entering stream, 
unless we catch sight of it when fully opposite, or 
are verv near. 

We encamped, on the 18th of July, on an islet 
near the mouth of the River La Platte, from 
fourteen to sixteen miles south-west of the Rat 
Portage. • It comes from a very large and shallow 
lake of the same name. 

I refer th^ deader to the map for details re- 
specting this I part of the lake. It is full of low 
islands, usually set thickly together, but someUmes 
allowing of Extensive views around. The main 
is low, rushy^ and grassy, densely planted with 
oak, spruce, poplar, and larch. > 

Towards tlie Rat Portage the country rises, 
and the scene becomes precisely that of the' y 
Thousand Isl0s on the St. Lawrence below King- 
ston, so exquisitely beautiful when seen on °a 

calm evening 

when the shadows are Ion"-. 



i i 


t 1 







have the same low cliffs and morsels of rock, the 
same pines and birch in artistic groupings, the 
same deep and transparent waters. 

In one place, while our caaoe was movine: 
through the water rapidly, it received a sudden 
and startling shock. We had struck upon a 
sleeping sturgeon, which we traced in the trou- 
bled waters making off with all speed. 

The Rat Portage, in north latitude 49° 46* 22" 
and west longitude 94° 39', which leads from the 
Lake of the Woods into tbe River Winnepeg, its 
outlet, we reach by a narrow cul-de-sac, 600 
yards long, ending in a grassy swamp, the portage 
lying between two eminences, naked but for 
burnt pines, a few cypress trees, and poplars. 

.This cul-de-sac is 120 yards broad at the 
portage, and is made offensive and foul by dead 
insects, the croaking^of frogs, and the plague of 

The hill east of the cul-de-sac, 200 feet high, 
gives an excellent idea of the environs. It em- 
braces the Lake of the Woods and the waters of 
the Winnepeg. We see from hence that the 
Portage is a neck of land fifty paces across, be- 
tween the dirty cove in the lake and a magni- 
ficent sheet of water formed by the junction of 
the Winnepeg with a large river, whose name I 
could not learn, coming from the west ; and the 





f V 

I J 




united stream flowing down a prolonged woody 
valley. Wild^islands of granite stud the west 
side of this basin, whose shores are high and 
naked, and backed by three ranges of lofty hills, 
either bare or covered with bright young ver- 

We were honoured at this place with a visit 
from the Nectatn* of all the Algonquins, the still- 
acknowledged chief of that wide-spread Indian 

We were at dinner when he was announced as 
being near. It ^as thought proper to Show him due 
respect, although he was fiow only the faded head 
. of a fading race!, and in a very different state from 
that in which the Five Nations demolished every 
habitation in tfce island of Montreal,, killed a 
thousand men, , and burnt twenty-six alive at a 
public festival. j ^ 

The Nectam ^as almost alone. As he was lono-* 
in appearing, I could not help going to see what 
was the matter. After some search I found him 
in a thick coppibe, in the act of being adorned by 
his wife— a heajrty, middle-aged Indian -»-in the 
needful braveriejs, out of a wooden box, the royal 
wardrobe. Being ashamed of my intrusive ten- 
dencies, I retired hastily, and, it is to be hoped, 

* An Indian wird, gignifjing personal pre-eminence 



In a few minutes the chief slowly and meekly 
approached us. He had on a good English hat, 
wfth broad silver edging round the brim, gold 
strings around the crown, and black ostrich fea- 
thers. His coat was of coarse blue cloth, with 
here and there a bit of tinsel ; and his leggings 
and mocassins were of fine leather, richly worked 
in porcupine quills. j 

We arose at his coming, did obeisance, and 
received in our turns his profiered hand. 

Our astronomer pointed out a box for his seat 
and presented him, after the exchange of some 
further courtesies, with a plate of salt beef and 
biscuit, — great dainties to him, and the only ones 
we possessed. We gave another plateful to his 
faithful spouse, who then retired to a stone and a 
bush hard by. 

The Nectam had seen forty years, was well 
made, and middle-sized. His face was ruddy and 
comparatively fair, regular and pleasing, but far 
too mild and unresisting for one of his race. 
His whole person was utterly destitute of the 
prompt watchfulness of the Indian — all touch, all 
eye, all ear, — whose every faculty is ready to 
spring into instant and violent action. 

He asked none of the jealous, uneasy questions, 
of the wiry savage of Rainy Lake. He merely ate 
his dinner, drank his glass of rum, received some 
vol-. II. X 

i ' 

" m\ 




little presents and after.a few whiffs of the peace- 
ful pipe, took his leave, gratefully * observing, 
" Tapoue nih^kispoun" (" Verily I am satisfied "). 
Other Indians visited us here, partly from cu- 
riosity, and partly in hope of presents. A com- 
pany of six remained about us fo'r some time,^- 
Indians of the olden days, — broad-chested, power- 
ful bronzed stjitues, with serious and rather fiei^ce 
physiognomic^. Thej- were nearly naked, wearhig 
only the breefch-cloth and a buffalo-skin or a 
blanket loosely across their shoulders, and-^a 
string, it m'utit be added, of bears' claws abtwit 
their necks. . ^ 

We had nol fear of them, and never carried 
arms. The Englishman's foot is on the Indian's 
neck. If an Indian had robbed or offered us vio- 
lence, the Hudson's Bay Company could, and 
most probably would, have stopped the subsist- 
ence of all the tribe until the evil doer had b^en 
brought in for [judgment. 

The summer before our visit to this lake, a 
factor of the Hudson's, Bay Company was en- 
camped for tlfe night near some wigwams on 
Lake Naroaycgn, and next morning missed a keg 
of gunpowder. His Indian neighbours disclaimed 
all knowledge of the theft; when, after a long 
parley, the white man seized a woman and child, 
and hurried ofit_ / 



Very shortly a canoe was perceived following 
in double quick time ; and with many explana- 
tions and apologies the missing keg was ex- 
changed for the living hostages. The powder 
was much wanted, or perhaps instant redress 
would not have been sought. 

I spent three pleasant days in sketching and 
geologising about the Rat Portage. The weather 
was charming, but had been sultry. 

We left it on the 22d of July, and made an 
earnest but vain attempt, on the west of the 
portage, to find out any well-marked spot en- 
titled to be called, in the language of the treaty, 
",the most north-western point of the Lake of 
the Woods." An idea then prevailed that this 
locality lay hereabouts ; but the decision of 1842 
has properly placed it many miles to the S.S.W. 
of Rat Portage. It is a matter of very inferior 
moment to the adoption of the 49th parallel as 
the great central boundary line. 

We now returned eastwards to complete the 
circumnavigation of the lak6. 

A mile to the east of the Rat Portage cul-de-sac 
I noticed one of the outlets by which the Winne- 
peg* escapes from the lake, — a rough rapid 

* To the mouth of the River Winnepeg, in a light canoe, is a 
journey of from two and a half to three days. Its general course is 
N. or N.N.E., among naked primitive rocks, from ten feet to one 



flowing do Jn a rocky narrow ; and a mile further 

It we come u^^on another channel, terminating 

in a cascadel * , ' * 

hundred or five Hundred feet high ; but at its mouth it passes over 
white limestone. It is a large and as yet uninvestigated river It 
receives many liributaries, and divides into numerous channels, 
broad and unknown, among islands. It has twenty-five cascades,' 
some of them high and picturesque, besides frequent rapids,— 
three so strong as to become carrying-places. It forms into lakes 
communicating with each other by falls and rapids in straits of 
which few, however, are less than 400 yards wide. Jhis informa- 
tion I gathered from traders frequenting this region. One of 
these, a friend of mine, Mr. J. Mackenzie, met with an awkward 
adventure on this river a few years ago. 

He and his wife were left intentionally by his men at a carrying, 
place. It was at a rocky spot, in a labyrinth of morass, forest 
and nvcr expanses. Together with his wife, Mr. Mackenzie had 
gone a Uttle aside to gather the pleasant berries which there load 
the ground in August, while the men were passing the goods over 
the portage. 
-^ They were but <t short time away, and then walked to the place 
of embarkation, frt)m whence, to their great astonishment and dis- 
may, they saw their six canoes smoothly proceeding down a long 
reach. Signals wfre made of all possible sorts, but in vain ; not a 
face turned in the canoes ; and sooj all were out of sight. "^ 

Two hundred miles of impassable country lay between the for- "^ 
lorn pair .and a l|ouse. The wife sat down, to weep; but soon ' 
started up, and said she thought she knew the country, baring i 
been there more than once with her tribe. The river just there 
performed a circuit of thirty or forty mUes in length. She said 
that by going straSght through the woods for fifteen miles, with 
hard walking and fading, they perhaps might be able to reach a 
certain portage before their men. So off they set; and by most 
severe labour, and with many anxieties about the proper direction, 
they gained the portage in time, and saved their Uves. 

On questioning the voyageur,, only frivolous excuses were 
offered. Some thought their master and his wife had walked on ; 




As to the northern and eastern side of the Lake 
of the Woods proper, I can only speak of its 
topography in general. The reader is referred 
to the accompanying map. 

The whole east shore, as far as the great Pro- 
montory, is distributed into bays and sounds, 
usually filled with islands.* 

Sixteen miles of coasting brought us through 
various groups of islands, often bristling with 
young pines, to the River Auogoyahme (Spawn- 
ing River). It enters by a fine fall, over granite, 
at the bottom of a deep bay. The coast had been 
rocky, but not high, and well covered with small 
trees of hard wood. [ 

The lake was almost always polluted with green 
scum and dead insects. It is not shallow here. 
There is in all lakes a sort of rough proportion 
between their depth and the height of the neigh- 
bouring land. 

others, that they had changed their canoe, and were with the 
party, &c. &c. I do not know that they were punished. ! 

* A thousand and nineteen islands were counted, and more or 
less fully laid down, in Lakes Kaminitik and Parpequa-wungar'. 
There are very many more. Those we saw rarely attained the 
length of eight miles, and these are near Shebashca. Mere rocks 
are not noticed. 

None of the islands on the Old Route and in this great lake, 
embracing a line 430 miles long, are as yet appropriated to the 
United States or Great Britain. Some of them must very speedily 
become valuable mining property, as on Gunflint Lake, Iron 
Lake, &c. 

: I 





Continuing our southerly course along the east 
shore, we cdn.e to Red Cliff fiay, so called from 
Its many greenstone (basaltic) cliffs, from thirty to 
one hundred feet high, coated with red moss, and 
liavmg perpendicular abutments, such as we see 
propping th^ walls of old churches. The new 
colouring giv^s a singular effect to the scenery 

Erratic blqcks of great size are common here 
i saw a larg^ one on a mound thirty feet hi..h 
Any alluvial deposits or embankments which m°ay 
exist m this portion of the lake are hid under 
ioiiage. ^ 

Six miles fUher south bring us (in crowds of 
isles) to the marshes called " Sucker Fishing, 
place" by the Jndians, from the abundance of that 
fish found thqre. Near this the main was hilly • 
and here we slept. ' 

Next day, liugging the shore, we breakfasted 
near \ellow G|rl Island, eight miles south of ou^ - 
sleeping.placej It is small, woody, and rathe^r 
bigh. It take^ its name from a young girl in a 
yellow dress having been seen standing on one of 
Its c iffs. She disappeared on being searched for 
Islands are fewer in these parts. We again met 
with a pair of fjshing-eagles. 

About two miles ?outh of YeUow GirUsland is 
a narrow inlet in the east main nine miles long! 
It receives Dryberry River. In this ciil-de-sac 





my young servant carelessly dropped my indis- 
pensable hammer into the lake. As the weather 
was warm, the waters clear though deep, and as 
he was an excellent swimmer, I requested him to 
recover it, wiiicli he gladly did. 

On our return towards the mouth of this inlet 
■we perceived an opening in the main, which we 
found to lead into White-fish Lake, the third 
portion of this great body of water. 

We did not enter here, but by another channel 
a few miles to the south-west. From this part of 
White-fish Lake to the Turtle Portage, which 
connects it with the south-east side of the Lake of 
the Sand Hills, the direct distance is thirty-five 
miles. White-fish Lake must therefore be of con- 
siderable size, as it extends also northward and 
eastward from this spot. 

We only went a couple of miles into it. I saw 
a large expanse of clear waters, with two or three 
lofty islands. The scenery resembled that of the 
basalt lakes of the Old Route, or of Lake Superior 
about Pigeon Bay. Dark heights and pine-crested 
headlands were all around ; and the lake was 
as blue and unruffled as the lagoon of a coral 

We returned to the Lake of the Woods by a 
third channel, guided by our Indian, and pro- 
ceeded west, having on our left (to the south) the 




great promoi^tory which, with one principal island, 
and some others, cuts the lake into the two parts, 
so well named by the Indians, and which the-com- 
mercial route from Lake Superior to the Red 
River crosses a|; the Portage des Bois. 

Along this ^art of the ^oute a pouring rain and 
endless changes in our course (" wandering in 
vain about bewildered shoreslO prevented accurate 
notes being ^aken. 

The shape ^nd dimensions of the promotrtory 
have been already given, but I mm add that 
the outline of] its shores is irregular on the west, 
and its end bfoad. Its average height is under 
one hundred feet. It is well wooded, but burnt 
m patches. Islands abound in its vicinity, as 
almost everywhere else. One of these near its 
east end is caljed Pipestone Island, from Its hav- 
ing in its sienitic greenstone a vein of hard chlo- 
rite earth, aboUt eight inches thick, of which the 
Indians, far and near, make their pipe-bowls. 
There is another place in the lake where this sub- 
stance may be procured. 

The Portage des Bois, ten miles from the west 
end of the promontory, enables the traveller to 
avoid going round it and its islands. It is a 
grassy swamp, one hundred paces across, at the 
bottom (on the north) of a fissure or cul-de-sac 
about ten miles deep, and full of small islands. 



We rounded the promontory by Point aux 
Chfines, through the narrow on the eastern side 
of the long island adjacent, and entered once 
more the Lake of the Sand Hills. We paid a 
passing visit to the south end of the Portage des 
B(^s, and found it in a moderate-sized bay. From 
thence we skirted the y)romontory eastwards, eight 
miles (?) to Gravel Point, a cape surrounded by 
gravel, sand, and bowlders. 

The view into the lake from Gravel Point pre- 
sents in every direction islands of gneiss and gra- 
nite, large and small (from one to live miles long), 
either naked or topped with pines and poplar; 
but in front, or southerly, they are fewer, and very . 
small, so that far in the distance, through isles, 
whose trees loomed high in the haze, we saw the 
open lake. 

Proceeding eastwards, dlong the southern and 
straighter side of the promontory, we met for 
a time with open waters, islets (small and 
few) chequeriflg the foreground, and larger 
beyond. \ 

Here we found a party of Indians gathering 
black bilberries {Vacciniun. Canadense). This 
fruit is incredibly abundant all over these countries: 
For miles we cannot tread without crushing them 
under our feet ; and we owed much of ou^Jiealth. 
and strength to the free use of them. The berries 






are very dark purple, as large as the out-door Eng- 
lish grape, anjd they grow on a low creeping shrub. 
Their flavour is sweet and agreeable ; most so in 
the spring, When they have lain a winter under 
snow. At thit period of the yeir they are a very 
important resource to birds, bears, and other 
animals. j "^ 

While we vere purchasing bilberries, I noticed 
a sulky old Injdian sitting apart on a somewhat 
high rock, wilih his arms round his legs, and his 
head on his knees. 

I asked " the little Englishman" who that woe- 
stricken man ^as ; when he gave me the following 

Some years ago this Indian had strangled his 
lunatic son — bis only son and favourite child. 

The youth, | eighteen years old, for a year or 
more had refused to hunt, became abstracted, 
melancholy, atd at times frenzied. 

When his paroxysms were coming on he would 
warn his familjy to protect a particular sister from 
his, unwilling violence, as he had an irresistible 
jJropensity to kill and devour her ; and, in fact, he 
made several attempts upon her life. 

After a time, his lunacy, for such it was, changed 
its object; and he declared that he^raust murder 
and eat the first Indian he could master iu the 
woods or elsewibere. 



He now daily begged his father to put him to 
death ; and so end his miseries. 

The surrounding Indians took alarm at all this. 

The father, as is usual in great emergencies, 
called a council. It sat several times, and after 
much deliberation ordered the lunatic to be 
strangled by his own father, the giver of his life. 

The father obeyed. The youth, after listening 
to a long speech, and assenting aloud to every 
separate observation, bared his neck to the cord, 
and soon ceased to breathe. His body was burnt, 
lest he should rise a^ain. 

The parent never looked up more. 

We slept that night on a small, flat, well-tim- 
bered island, not far from the east end of the pro- 
montory. In my geological ardour I determined 
to run round it, though cautioned not to do so. 
Away I went as fast as I could go ; but such were 
its innumerable little wrinkles, among deep waters, 
the night also soon setting in, that I did not reach 
the camp until past eleven o'clock, thoroughly 
worn out, and thankful for a supper of cocoa and 
bilberries. Had not the moon arisen at about ten 
o'clock, I must have slept in tlie woods. 

Although the west end of the promontory is 
well wooded, towards its middle it becomes naked, 
and is often purposely fired by the Indians. 

Going still eastwards, we soon exchange the 





comparatively open lake for a vast belt of low 
islands, pretty^ well covered with young trees, and 
girt with white granite mounds barely appearing 
abov* water. 

Beaches aild hillocks of sand are now almost 
universal on the main, and from time to time we 
see the samj great collections of erratic blocks 
which encumbered the west shores of the Lake of 
the Sand Hill^ ; but here they were on the heights 
120 feet abdve the lake, among tall straight 

Being now about thirty miles from the west end 
of the promojitory, we leave it, and from going 
east we gradufcilly turn to the south. 

We havi6 m this vicinity access twice to White- 
fish Lake, at places ten or twelve miles apart. 

The northeifn of these points is at Turtle Port- 
age, across eighty yards of swamp and rock. The 
other is at tlje Falls of the Pine River (twenty 
feet high), at ihe extreme east end of the lake, at 
the bottom of a deep bay, and thirty-five miles 
direct from the nearest part of Rainy Lake. This 
river, however^ does ' not actually communicate 
with White-fisjh Lake, but only passes near it. It 
is much the ^hortest way to Fort Lapluie from 
White-fish Late, assisted by a chain of streamlets 
and lakes. 

It was remarkable that at Turtle Portage we 


found among some long grass a turtle, from twelve 
to fifteen inches long, of a very dark colour, and 
its markings, if it had any, obscured by dirt.* 

The shape and direction of the east and south 
shore of Sand-hill Lake are best seen on the map. 
It is very long, and sweeps in large, easy, low, 
sinuosities of sand, in ridges and flats, with fre- 
quent marshes and productive rice-grounds. 
Thousands of foreign rocks of large dimensions 
crowd the sands and shallows, which extend very 
far into the lake. 

There are very few islets ; one of these is named 
Elm Island. 

Twelve miles E.N.E. from Windy Point on 
Sable Island there is a remarkable spot, Point 
Briile, a striking landmark. 

It is a sloping headland of white gneiss, sprinkled 
witli small pines. On its summit, once doubtless 
hidden by trees, is an ancient round look-out 
against the hereditary enemy, the Sioux, and of 
the same size as that near Lake Croche ; but here, 
all the stones are thrown down in circles outwards. 
The' Indian imagination of the present day has 
found out a meaning for it. They call it the nest 
of the Thunder Bird. I-, 

Three miles west of Point Brule is Rice River, 

* It was probably the wood terrapin {Eni/s imcuipta), but 
larger thati U common. 


,1 ! 


318 THE CIR 


one Of th,ee in the lake Of the same name. It 
iooks large an.l flows through low lands 

A course of eight miles from this river, alon.. a 
mamland of saU-banks, bushes, with smairbu^nt 
trees m the rear, brings us to^^indy Point, a spot 
five n.les northieast of Sable Island, at the mouth 
ot the Hiver Labluie. 

w.nd, drove ,„^o .he narrow p.,, J„,t„ .h" 
n.a,„ an Sab,. ,.,a„d. a.„„g .„,, ,„,W, a„d 


mg Jake.* | 

I shall spare tU reader our homeward journey 

of nearly two tijousand miles. But for auc^ht I 

know, he may h^ve long ago left us engulfed in 

uffocatmg woods, or on the waters, which, un- 

Iike those ofSilo^m, do not go softly 

We were greatly indebted under Providence to 
the care and skill of Mr. Astronomer Thompson. 

J823_ M(fffnetie Variation .— 

July 17, Near Driftwood Point 

24 South side of Portage desBois . llZ^ 

26, Mid-day. SandhiU Lake On Pm™ '. ' "„ ^'' ^• 
2R i?».f 7 , ""^ i«Ke. Un Promontory . 120 E 

28, East angle of mpth of Rainy River . . 12= e. " 


There was a good deal of wear and tear in our life 
of little ease, constant exposure, and unsuitable 

The ill effects were only temporary ; and we 
soon remembered only the pleasurable part of our 
wanderings. 1 

Great was the enjoyment of returning to the 
comforts and amenities of civilised life. Milk was 
a luxurious novelty. The Indians call the land of 
the pale-faces "the cow-country." The use of 
money was strange, and so was access to letters', 
newspapers, and large assemblies of people. Few 
things, however, struck us so much as the happy 
eyes, carmine lips, and pleasant voice of child- 





As there are very few, if any, of the Voyageurt 
songs in print, it would be desirable to insert a few of 
those which are sung in the Indian countries, but the 
want of space forbids the insertion of more than one. 
It was taken by the author from the lips of the singer, 
and is evidently ancient Norman, in the Canadian 
patois : — 


Quand j'etais chez mon pere, 

Petite et jeune ^tant, 
M'envoyait a la fontaine \ 

Pour pecher des poissons. } 
La violette dandine, la violette dondfi. 

La fontaine est profonde, 
Moi de couler au fond ; 
, Par-ici ils passent j 
Trois cavsdiers barons. 
La violette dandine, la violette donde. 

" Que donneriez vous, belle, 
Pour vous tirer du fond ?" 
" Tirez, tirez," dit-eUe : 
" Apres-ya nous verrons." 

La violette dandine, la violette dond£. 




Quand la belle fut tiree 

S'en va a la maison ; 
S'assied sur la fenetre 

£t commence une chanson. 
La violette dandine, la violette donde. 

" Ce n'est pas, ma belle, 

Ce que nous demandons ; 
C'est votre coeur en gage, 

Savoir si nous Taurons.", 
La violette dandine, la violette donde. 

" Men petit coeur," dit-elle, 

" N'est pas pour un baron ; 
C'est pour un gentil-homme. 

Qui a la barbe au menton." 
La violette dandine, la violette dond^. 

" Oh ! dites-nons, ma belle, 

Ou est-il, votre mignon ?" 
" II est a la fontaine 

Qu'il peche la poisson." 

La violette dandine, la violette donde. 


" Oh ! dites-nons, ma belle. 

Quel poisson y prend-t-on .' 
On y prend la carpe, 

Aussi I'esturgeon." 

La violette dandine, la violette donde. 

" On y prend la carpe, 

Aussi I'esturgeon, 
Aussi des ecrevisses 

Qui vont a reculons." 
La violette dandine, la violette donde. 

&c. &c. &c. 




Mrs. Henry Malan has very kindly favoured me 
with the following pretty but free translation of the 
above ballad : — : » 

With heart as wild 

As joyous child. 
Lived Rhoda of the mountain. 

Her only wish 

To seek the fish 
In the waters of the fountain. 

Oh, the violet, white and blue ! 

The stream is deep, 

The banks are steep, 
Down in the flood fell she. 

When there rode by 

Right gallantly 
Three barons of high degree. 

Oh, the violet, white and blue ! 

" Oh, teU us, fair maid," 

They each one said, 
" Your reward to the venturing knight 

Who shall save your life 

From the water's strife 
By his arm's unflinching might." 

Oh, the violet, white and blue I 

" Oh ! haste to my side," 

The maiden replied, 
" Nor ask of a recompense now ; 

When safe on laud 

Again I stand I 

For such matters is time enow." 

Oh. the violet, white and blue ! 


ff M 


But when all free 

Upon the lea 
S|e found herself once more, 

She would not stay, 

And sped away { 

Tjl she reached her cottage doori 

Oh, the violet, white and blue ! 

Her casement by. 

That maiden shy [ 

B«Ean so sweet to sing ; 

Her lute and voice 

Did e'en rejoice 
Th ; early flowers of spring. 

Oh, the violet, white and blue ! 

But the barons proud 
Then spoke aloud, 
Tfhis ie not the boon we desire ; 
Your heart and love, 
My pretty dove, 
Is ijhe free gift we require." 

Oh, the violet, white and blue 



6h, my heart so true 
Is not for you, 
for any of high degree ; 
I have pledged my truth 
To an honest youth, 
a beard so comely to see." 
Oh, the violet, white and blue I 

&c. &c. &C. 




brief notes on the topography of the river 

(with admeasurements.) 


The River Niagara issues from the north-east end of 
Lake Erie, and enters Lake Ontario on the south-west 
side, forty-six miles from its head, after having crossed, 
with a general north-by-west course, the intervening 
neck of land, at that point 26| miles broad. 

This isthmus is here divided into two levels, the 
upper (to be noticed first) advancing from Lake Erie 
to within seven miles of Lake Ontario ; but at that dis- 
tance (at Queenston), it lowers 370J feet at once, by a 
steep slope, which skirts, at various heights, the whole 
south and west shores of Lake Ontario, under the name 
of the " Parallel Ridge." 

During the first twenty miles of the upper level, from 
Lake Erie, the land on both sides of the Niagara is so 
moist and flat as scarcely to assign a direction to its 



Streams. It is raised but little above Lake Erie, and 
would be flooded in spring were the vernal rise of , water 
as great as in the Rivers Ottawa and St. Lawrence. 

On the Canaflian side of the Niagara, and probably 
on the American also, there is close to it a border of 
raised ground, varying in breadth from half a mile to 
two miles, or more. The banks show that it is composed 
of brown loam, clay, and small angular fragments of 
the black geodiferous limestone of Niagara. 

The direction of the Niagara for Three miles from 
Lake Erie is north, and then bends round to the north- 
west for two mjles, when it is divided into two narrow 
and distant cha<inels to within 3| miles of the Falls by 
a very large isla|id, from the foot of which the river runs 
west by north. 

The current flar the first three or four miles from the 
head of the river is swift, especially about and below 
Black Rock, where it is seven miles an hour, smooth 
on the surface, but violently agitated within. From 
thence to near the Falls the rate is uniform and mode- 
rate. The declihe in level from the' head of the river to 
Chippewa is said to be fifteen feet. 

Its depth is by no means great, especially at the 
lower end, whete the shores, &c., are often marshy. 
Opposite Black Rock it is thirty-two feet deep all the 
way across, acco|rding to the careful soundings of Mr. 
Allen. General Porter has there constructed a large 
basin for shipping, whose walls rest upon horizontal 

The breadth (|f the Niagara varies much, as is seen 
from the following statements, which are taken from 
the large maps o^ the Boundary Commission :— 


I Miles. Yards. 
At Bird Island, 1070 yards above the head of the 

river 1 220 

At the exact commencement of the river _ 733 

Opposite General Porter's House, at Black Rock - 462 

At the middle of Squaw Island, below Black Rock - 1320 

At Strawberry Island, one mile below 1 440 

At the head of Grand Island 1 880 

At Tonne wan ta Island 7 220 

At the lower end of Grand Island 2 1315 

Ditto Navy Island 1 450 

At Chippewa River 1 220 

At the head of Goat Island _ 1310 

This river has islands ouly on its upper level, and 
these are twenty-eight in number, for the most part 
low and swampy, and finely wooded with sugar-maple, 
elm, oak, and linden trees, when a few feet above 
water-mark. Their length usually runs parallel to the 

Bird Island, opposite Fort Erie, is a mere ledge of 
rock 220 yards long. Squaw Island, 1^ mile below, 
is 1880 yards long, and close to the east shore. The 
next, Strawberry Island, is 1^ mile long. 

Grand Island is five miles from Lake Erie, 7^ miles 
long by 6^ miles in greatest breadth. It is an irregular 
oval, and chiefly in a state of nature, the interior being 
a morass, and often a group of ponds. Where dry it 
is heavily timbered. It contains 17,924 acres. 

The channels on each side of Grand Island are not 
broad, that on the American shore being 513 yards 
wide where narrowest, and 660 yards on the Canadian 
where narrowest, three-quarters of a mile below Beaver 





ui""'"" ''■""""'■ '"".^^O ^'"'"■'™ Grand 
sland i, a .trip or mmh 2000 .ard. 

Jong, near the 
Island is close 

head of Grand IslanH t 

vjiduu island. Tonnewanta 

h«lf o •, • , ^^^' '"^'"' ^"^ --ather exceeds 

half a rnde .„ length. Cayuga is the next, also nea 
H>e east mam, ajid 2060 yards long. 

Buckhorn Island follows, on the east of . a 
near to, Grand Island u ' 7 °^' """^ ^'^'"7 

' "^rana island. It is marshy, 2000 vard« Inn„. 
and tapers to a ioint below. ""^ yard, long, 

to cTeat't"' -3 '"V"'^ '■^'^"'^ '■" ^'^'■^ "^- belongino. 
304 acres. H- '' '^ --"-cular, and contLl 

The size and position of other very small islets mav 


Iris, or Goat Island, Is somewhat triangular in shaoe • 

I ^ I "^^*^"- Between it and the Amp 

r.can shore there ij a round islet, which, by two brides" 

connects Ins Islanfi with the main. A iLe be ow t' 

are seven other patches of rock, bearing a Z p J ' 

The streams whiph enter the Niagara alon. .rulr 

i^ ram^'r^ f f f "'''-' ''' '-'-'-^- ^^-r swamps. I slfall simply name them. They are 
F^^nch, Black, Chippewa. El.icott, and TonneLnU 

At Chippewa co|,mences the more disturbed portion 



of the river, preluding the Falls, now 2^ miles distant 
— Its ample breadth sensibly diminishes. 

On the British shore the accelerated current begins 
here to ripple ; and at Bridgewater, one mile lower down. 
It dashes and foams over a succession of ledges, which 
are most conspicuous opposite the head of Iris Island 
Below this the water moves with equal swiftness, but 
smoothly, over pebbly shallows, until it is precipitated 
into the great chasm. 

On the Anieiican shore the same is going on, but 
with still greater fury. 

Together with these changes in the state of the river, 
the banks, from Chippewa to Bridgewater, very ora- 
dually attain the height of forty feet, in scarps and 
grassy slopes. This apparent rise is caused by the 
smking of the bed of the river ;• but from hence for 
the remaining mile and a quarter a real elevation of 
the bank and adjacent country takes place. The 
united effect of this is the formation on the Canadian 
shore of slopes and terraces, which have been carefully 
measured and laid down by Professor Hall, of Albany 
New York. They skirt the river from the late Colonel 
Clarke's, at Bridgewater, to and beyond the cataract, 
m grassy knolls, highly ornamented here and there 
with fine trees, among which are well-grown tulip 
trees. The American banks ascend from the water in 
a richly-wooded slope. 

In this interesting locality, twenty-one miles from 
Lake Erie, and at the foot of what we must call the 

* Philadelphia Museum, vol. viii. p. 215 ; fifty-eight feet between 
Chippewa and the Falls. 

(^ ^ 


remains of Iris Island, the Niagara plunges at once 
into a rocky» 1561 feet deep, 960 • yards broad 
along the chora. and prolonged for seven miles east- 
north-east almost at right angles, with the former 
course of the rivter. 

This descent or leap takes place obliquely to the 
direction of the river, and is divided into three parts by 
Ins Island, and |he islet on its right. These are named 
the Horse-shoe, he Ribbon or Montmorenci, and the 
American or Scfilosser, Falls, respectively. 

The whole linp of subsidence is 1200 yards lon»'. 
Of this the Horje-shoe Fall occupies about one-haff 
and the America^, Fall, with the base of Iris Island' 
each a quarter, v\hlle the Ribbon Fall and an adjoinin.^ 
islet take up twejity yards of the line. 

The Horse-shof Fall is on the Canadian side. Its 

name no longer 
which, indeed, is 

describes its form, a correct idea of 
not easily obtained, owing to certain 

perspective deceptions. The sketch accompanying 
these pages gives its shape in 1822. as laid down in the 
charts of the Boundary Commission, with great care 
and exactitude. 

A naked, flat Uge, called the Table Rock, at the 
northern angle o^ this fall, permits the visitor to dip 
h.s feet into the wfiter as it passes over the precipice 

It IS this fall wHich presents the unbroken curtain of 
emerald edged wi h white or brown. The stream be- 
neath the pitch it smooth, but white with intestine 
commotion. A little way down it forms into billows 
and maintains a g eat velocity through the whole chasm' 
to Queenston. 

* Boundary Surrey— as always. 



At the foot of the Horse-shoe Fall the gusts of a 
tempestuous day permitted me to see some very large 
fragments of rock, by having driven away the' spray 
and broken water which usually conceal them. 

The Ribbon Fall is aptly named. It springs from 
its dark channel with great force and beauty. 

The American Fall is 162 feet deep (" Philadelphia 
Museum"). Its face, although on the whole pretty 
straight, is in several places jagged or serrated, so that 
the line of descent is varied and picturesque. 

The cataract has beyond all doubt excavated, by 
solution and fracture, the whole chasm from Queenston 
heights, during a period of time which we cannot mea- 
sure, having been directed, according to Professor 
Hall, into that channel by a slight natural hollow pre- 


The inhabitants of the vicinity now testify to the 
reality of the process; indeed it is self-evident. Toge- 
ther with a slow retrocession and change of form from 
smaller losses, large masses of rock are dropping from 
the line of subsidence into the gulf below from time to 
time. A portion of the Table Rock, weighing many 
tons, fell a few months before my first visit. 

It would degrade and fall away much faster were 
not the upper rock a hard limestone, while the lower 
half of the cataract-wall consists of a crumblino- shale 

From the varying nature of the rocks over which it 
has flowed from Queenston to its present site, it must 
have changed its form very often ; and never was so 
imposing and diversified in its features as at this time. 

There is little doubt but that in some parts of its 
course it was a lohg slanting fall, as when it passed 

I , 




over shaly sandstone; in others it was in f». 

the grey quartz^ sandstone, and separated from each 

erosion t '^"'^''"^ '''''""- '° '^ Powers of 

When this process began we know not Of it, r.f 
of proceeding, either by years or n.7 • '^ 

very little- h„f '• j "^ ^^^^ ^"^ centuries, we know 

It will hate 3 r ^''^r •'^.^"^^ '^.--'^ the latter'. 

Jtwill hate more 
according to the 

or less effect in draining Lake Erie,' 
breadth ofthe rocky lip over which 

inri tKn J xi /> < 

the water falls, and the dept of th' ' "■'"' ''''''' 
The lip, at Lake Erie is 7IT , u ^''""^ ^''^• 
900 at the f!ii k t y^"'' ^'°*^''' '"^tead of 

Th ' ''"' the depth of water is creator 

These two being considered together linl . 
W.1I probably tak, place until h'e cat.- sh irT'' 
worked st.ll further back into the lake " '" '"' 

according to'th't'"' ""'^^""^^ ^"^ ''--tones is, 

qualified gentlemen have left little to be desired a 
our^a^cquannance with the geology of these ItSts 

to bestow a few words on the loweJ 

We now proceed 
division of t^e Rive 

ine chasm is 6^ milp« lm.„. „ j r 

n«r.h.„es., . „i,e f„„h„, „ „^ whir LI V.h 
change, ,„ddenjy to: the ncih-easl .Ld^' ■ 


f < 




the Devi s Hole, on the American side. From thence 
a northern course is slowly assumed, and, with a few 
jutting elbows, is continued to Lake Ontario. 

The whirlpool just alluded to is a circular basin 500 
yards in diameter, on the Canadian shore, created by 
the sudden change in the direction of the river Its 
v.o ence has been somewhat exaggerated. The water 
rushes into it in billows from the pent channel above, 
and then, with eddies here and there, courses round 
the basin ,n a swift smooth current, and slowly flows 
off-so slowly, indeed, that on one occasion a dead 
body was observed in it for two or three days. 

The side of the chasm may be described in general 
terms to be precipitous ; often, as near the Falls and 
elsewhere, mural in the upper half of its height or 
more: and terminated below by slopes of fragments, 
naked or overgrown with vines and other creeping 
plants: but more commonly the stream is flanked by 
ledges and enormous displaced masses, numerous or 
few high or low, in places; and being interspersed 
with patches of soil, are clothed with underwood and 
fine trees. 

The average breadth of the river in the chasm is 300 
yards; but a mile below the whirlpool it contracts to 
115 yards, near the ruins of a saw-mill. Here the 
bottom is seen, nearly in mid-channel, to consist of 
large fragments of rock, over which the water passes 
with inconceivable fury. The precipice on the Canadian 
side IS so shattered here that, with some ingenuity, an 
indifferent cart-road has been made down it. Two 
miles and a half below the whirlpool the breadth of 
the river is 135 yards. Haifa mile above the gorge 



of Quenston it is 130 yards broad, and at the gorge 
212 yards. 

Of the depth af the water in the chasm I know very 
little. Mr. Forsyth, the proprietor of the two British 
hotels at the Falls, told me that in the middle of the 
basin, in front of the Falls, the depth is 160 feet. 

The bed of the river makes a gradual descent of 
67 feet* from th^ foot of the Falls to Queenslon Gorge. 
At this last place the sides of the chasm are higher 
than at the former. Mr. Gourlay states the elevation 
of Queenston Heights to be 370J feet, and, I believe, 

The depressioii at Queenston of the upper or Erie 
plateau is sudde^ ; but the subsequent widening of the 
stream is slow, a|nd seldom varies from 700 yards. 

The course of the river is henceforth rather west of 
north, its current averaging two miles per hour. The 
banks are of slaty clay and argillaceous sandstone at 
Queenston, supporting a gravjelly loam, and are from 
fifty to eighty feet high ; but from^ thence to the river 
mouth they are of a rich red clayey soil, and rather high. 
At the contiguous shore of Lake Ontario the banks 
are from twelve t|o fifteen feet high, of pure clay below, 
covered with largje primitive bowlders and a mixed soil. 
The river expand^ but little on meeting with the lake ; 
its width between the American Fort Niagara, at the 
confluence, and the British town of Newark, being from 
800 to 1000 yards. There is a considerable bar of 
sand and mud off the mouth. 

* Philadelphia Museum, ut ante. 




As the climate of panada is extreme both in heat 
and cold, we find there some new genera and many 
new species of insects. 

The following list, collected by the author principally 
in Lake Huron, has been drawn up by the Rev. W. 
Kirby, F.R.S. He has fully described them in the 
" Fauna Boreali-Americana" of Sir John Richardson, 
with figures of the most interesting. 

The new species are distinguished by the letters 
appended (K.N.S.). j 

Order . . Coleoptera. 

Genus Chlcenius. 

Section. . Pentamera. 

dimidiatus, K.N.S 

Ti-ibe . . Carnivora. 

obscurior, K.N.S. 

Sub-tribe Terrestria. 

Genu» Agonum, Bonelli. 

Family . . Cicindelidee. 


Genu* Cicindelidae, Linn. 

F. Br. 

Marshamii, K.N.S. 

Genut Calosoma, Fabr. 

marginalis, Fabr. 

Canadensis, K.N.S. 

angulatum, K.N.S. 

Genut Carabus, Linn. 

albi-labris, K.N.S. 

obscuratus, K.N.S 

Genut Omophron, Latreille. 

Family . . Carabidse. 

Canadense, K.N.S 

Genut Brachinus, Fabr. 

Genut Elaphrus, Fabr. 

crepitans, Var. Br. 


Genut Chlcenius, Bonelli. 

Genut Bembidium, Latreille. 

pulcheUus, K.N.S. 

littorale, Eur. 




Subiribe . . Ajquatica. 
Family .... GJyrinidsE. 

Genus Gjrinus, Linn. 

eeneusj, Leach. Br. 



Tribe . . Brachelytra. 
Family . . Staphylinidse. 

Genus Creophilus, Kirby. 

Villosus, Br. 

Genus Lathrobium, Graven- 

bicoloi , Gray. 

TVibe . . Senjicomia. 
Family . . Bujirestidse. 

Genus Buprestis, Liinn. 

fasciatns, L. 

acumiijata, F. 

strigati, K.N.S. 

Genus Trachys, Fair. 

auruleijta, K.N.S. 

Family . . Elateridse. 
Gentcs Elater, LinnL 

castanipes, F. Br. 

flavaabjris, K.N.S. 

Family . . Lamk)yrid8e. 
Genus Lycus, FabrJ 

reticul4tus, F. 

Genu* Larapyris, L!nn. 

corrusck, L. 

pectoralis, K.N.S. 

Genus Telephorus, Geoffr. 



Tribe . . Claviiornia. 
Family. . Silphidse. 

Genus SUpha, Linji., ichthy- 
ophagp, K.N.S. 
(found in dead 

lapponi6a, L. Var. 


Family . . Demiestid«. 
Genus Dermestes, Linn. 

murinus, L. Br. 

Tribe . . Lamellicomia. 
Family . . Scarabteidse. 

Genus Onthophagus, Latreille. 



Family . . Rutelidte. 

Genus Pelidhota, W. S. Mac- 


punctata, Lake St. 


Family . . Melolonthidae. 

Genus Melolontha, Fabr. 

rufipes, K.N.S. 

angustata, ~) 

K.N.S. I 

assimilis, f 

K.N.S. J 
N.B. — On willows. 
GetiM Serica, W. S. Macleay. 
subsulcata, K.N.S. 

Family . . Cetoniadae. 
Genus Trichius, Fabr. 

Bigsbii, K.N.S. 

L. St. Clair. 

viridulu's, Var. .' 

Genus Cetonia, Fabr. 


Section . . Heteromera. 
Tribe . . Melasoma. 
Family . . Tenebrionidse. 
Genus Upis, Fabr. 

ceramboides, F. 


TYibe .. Taxicomia. 
Family . . Diaperidae. 

Genus Bolitophagus, lUiger. 

cristatus, K.N.S. 

N.B.— On the boletus of the 



TViie .. Stenelytra. 
Family . . Helopidse. 

Genus Meracantha, Kirby, 
N. G. 

Canadensis, K.N.S. 

N.B. — I have another species 
of this genus from Georgia, 
which seems synonymous with 
Blaps Metallica, F. 
Genus Arthromacer, Kirby, 
N. G. 

denacioides, K.N.S. 

L. St. Clair. 
Genus Xylita, Paykull. 

buprestoides, Pay- 
kull, Br. 
Genus Cistela, Fabr. 

erythropus, K.N.S. 

Tribe . . Trachelida. 
Family . . Cantharidse. 

Genus Cantharis, Geoffr. 

antennata, K.N.S. 

Section . . Tetramera. 
Tribe . . Rhyncophora. 
Family . . Bruchidae. 

Genus Anthribus, Geoffr. 

fasciatus, Oliv. 

Family . . Attelabidse. 

Genus Opoderus, Olir. 

bipustulatus, L. St. 

Genus Attelabris, Linn. 

curculionoides, L. 

Genus Rhynchites, Herbst. 

ovatus, Oliv., L. 

St. Clair. 

Family . . Curculionidae. 

Genus Calandra, Clairv. 

pertinai, Oliv. 

Genus Hylobius, Germar. 

coniusus, K.N.S. 


Genus Lepyrus, Germar. 
colon, Eur. 

Family . . Brachyrhinidse. 

Genus Brachyrhinus, Latreille. 
(Sitona Germar.) 



Tribe . . Longicomia. 

Family . . Lamiadae. '< 

Genus Lamia, Fabr. 

Canadensis, K.N.S. 

Genus Saperda, Fabr. 

sexnotata, K.N.S. 

miniata, K.N.S. 

concolor, K.N.S. 

Family . . Cerambycidse. 

Genus Clytus, Fabr. 

lunulatus, K.N.S. 

Family . . Necydalidse. 

Genus Getniaca, Kirby, N. G. 
lepturiodes, K.N.S. 

Family . . Lepturidae. 

Genus Leptura, Linn. 

tormentosa, F. Eur. 

ventralis, K.N.S. 

tricolor, K.N.S. 

Tribe . . Eupoda. 
Family . . Crioceridse. 

Gernts Denacia, Fabr. 

crassipes, F. "| 

var. JBr. 

micans, Marsh J 

cuprea, K.N.S. 

Genus Macroplea, Hoffmans. 

njgricomis, K.N.S. 

Tribe . . Cyclica. 
Family . . Hispidie. 

Genus Hispa, Linn. 

bicolor, Oliv. 



Family . . ClytridBE. 

Genus Chlamys, Knoch. 

nigro-oenia, K.N.S 

Genus Cryptocephjilus, Geoffr. 

pubes^eng, F. 

4 notatus, K.N.S. 

Family . . ChryBomelidse. 

Genus Chrysomela, Linn. 

Philadelphica, L. 

Canadensis, K.N.S. 

irrorate, K.N.S. 

cUvicojli*, K.N.S. 

Family . . UalCnicidae. 

Genus Galeruca, Gjeoffr. 

Americana, var. .' 

Lineolki, var. Br. 

Family . . Halticidae. 

Genus Haltica, Ge<^ffr. 

4 mac^lata, Oliv. 

Section . . Trimera. 
TVibe . . Aphidiphaga. 
Family . . Cocctnellidae. 

Genus Coccinella, l,inn. 
trifascinta, L. 

Order . . Orthoptera. 
TYibe . . Cureoria. 
Family . . Blattidx. 

Genus Blatta, Linn . 


N.B. — Amongst rotten timber. 

TVi'ie . . Salltatoria. 
Family . . GrVUidse. 

Genus Gryllas, Linn. 


Genus Acrida, Kirby. (Lo- 
cnsta, Fabr.) 

coeca, K.N.S. 

stenopiera, K.N.S. 

Genus Locnsta, Leach. (Gryl- 
lu8, Fabr.) 

borealis, K.N.S. 

Genus Acrydium, Fabr. (Te- 
trix, Latr.) 

4 punctatum, 


Order . . Hemiptera. 
Section . . Heteroptera. 
TYibe , . Geocorisa. 
Family . . Pentatomidge. 

Genus Tetyra, Fabr. 

-• scarabseoides, Tar. 


Lineola, K.N.S. 

orassimana, K.N.S. 

Genus Pentatoma, Oliv. 

juniperina, var. ? 

bidens, var. Br. 

Family . . Lygieidge. 

Genus Lygteus, Fabr. 

bicolor, K.N.S. 

Gettus Alydus, Fabr. 

calcaratns, Br. 

Genus Miris, Fabr. 

Scutellaria, K.N.S. 

Genus Capsus, Fabr. 


Genus Salda, Fabr. 

saltatoria, F. Br. 

Family . . Hydrometridae. 

Genus Gerris, Latreille. 

Lineola, K.N.S. 

Tribe . . Hydrocorisa. 
Family . . Nepidee. 

Genus Belostoma, Latreille. 

concolor, K.N.S. 


K.N.S. L. St. 




Family . . Notonectidee. 

Genus Notonecta, Linn. 

pallida, K.N.S. 

Section . . Homoptera. 
Tribe . . Cicadaria. 
Family . . Tettigoniadee. 

Genus Tettigonia, Fabr. 

inscripta, K.N.S. 

basilaris, K.N.S. 

Family . . Fulgoridie. 

Genus Fulgora, Linn. 

nigra, K.N.S. 

Family . . Membracidse. 

Genus Membracis, Fabr. 

camelus, var. Ft. 

St. Clair. 

monticola, F. 

Genus Centrotus, Fabr. 

aries, K.N.S. 



Family . . Cercopidte. 

Genus Cercopis, Fabr. 

gpumaria, var. Br. 

cruenta, K.N.S. 

Order . . Lepidoptera. 
Tribe . . Diurna. 
Family . . Papilionidc 

Genus Fapilio, Linn. 

Tumus, L. 

Genus Vanessa, Fabr. 


Genus Argynnis, Fabr. 


Genus Hipparchia, Fabr. 

nephele, K.N.S. 

Genus Lyesna, Fabr. 

argiolus, var. Br. 

Family . . Hesperidse. 

Genus Hesperia, Fabr. 
comma, Br. 

TYibe . . Crepuscnkria. 

Family . . Sphingidc. 

Genus Macroglossa, Scop, 
(much damaged.) 
Genus Sesia, Fabr. 

This be var. ? 

Family . . Zygeenidee. 

Genua Zygsena, Fabr. 

8 maculata, F. 

Tribe . . Noctuma. 
Family . . Arctiadte. 
Genus Arctia, Schranck. 
virgo, K.N.S. 

Family . . Tineidge. 

Genus Lithosia, Fabr. 

— — miniata, K.N.S. 

tricolor, K.N.S. 

Called in Canada 
"the Quaker." 
Genus Hyponomeuta, Latreille. 
Nivea, K.N.S. 

Family . . Phsdeenidae. 

Genus Geometra, Hubner. 
volutata, F. Br. 

Family . . Noctuadse. 

Genus Noctua, Fabr. 

albicomis, K.N.S. 



Order .. Neuroptera. 
Tribt . . Planipennia. 
Family . . Panorpidse. 

Genus Panorba, Linn. 

communis, Br. 

Family . . HemerobiadK. 

Genus Hemerobius, Linn. 

Y nigrum, K.N>S. 

Family . . Semblidae. 

Genus Semblis, Fabr. 
lutaria, Br. 


Family . . Parlidae. 

Genus Perla, Geofl>. 



Order ' . . Hymdnoptera. 

Section . . Terebrantia. 

TVibe . . Securffera. 

Family . . Tentkiredinidie. 

Genui Cimbex, Olijv. 

fulvitajsis, K.N.S. 

(On birch trees.) 
nifiTenjtris, "j j^^ 

> sex 


Genu* AUantus, Jurine. 

succinctus, K.N.S. 

Family . . Siricidse. 

Gentu Sirex, Linn. 

albicortiis, F. 

TVibe- . . PupivW. 

Family . . Ichneijimonidge. 

Genut Ophion, Fair. 

I luteum, Tar. Br. 

ruficorie, K.N.S. 

Section.. Acileata. i 

Tribe . . Hetierogyna. 
Family . . Fortaicidse. 

Genus Formica, Linn. 

ligniperda. Late 


herci(lanea, L. ? 
Genus Mynnica, Litreille. 



Tribe .. Pliicata. 
Family . . Vegpidte. 

Genut Vespa, Linn, 

vulgaris, var. Br. 

macula ta, var. 

Tribe . . Anthophila. 
Family . . Andrenidse. 

Genus Halictus, Latreille. i 
viridis, K.N.S. 

Family . . Apidse. ' 

Genus Megachile, Latreille. 

Canadensis, K.N.S. 

Genus Osmia, Spinola. 

nasalis, K.N.S. 

Order . . Diptera. 
THbe . . Tipularia. 
Family . . Culicidse. 

Genus Culex, Linn. 



Family .. Tipulidse. 

Genus Chironomus, Meigen. 

cristatus, F. 

Genus Sciara, Meigen. 

nigritarsis, K.N.S. 

Tribe . . Tanystoma. 
Family . . Asilidse. 

Genus Laphria, Meigen. 

fulva, K.N.S. L. 

St. Clair. 

Family . . Bombyliadse. 

Genus Anthrax, Scopoli. 

hottentota, var. Br. 

Family . . Tabanidse. 

Genus Tabanus, Linn. 

ruficomis, F. 

TVibe . . Notacantha. 
Family . . Stratyoinidse. 

Genus Coenomyia, Latrtille, 

ferruginea, var. 

(sicut, Fabr.) 



Tribe . . Athericera. 
Family . . Syrphidee. 

Genus Helophilus, Meigen. 

pendulus, Br. 

paUitarsis, K.N.S. 

Genus Sericomyia, Latreille. 



Family . . Muscidte. 

Genus Musca, Linn. 

semi-aurea, K.N.S. 

Genus Tephritis, Latreille. 

picta, K.N.S. 

Genut Oscinis, Latreille. 

germinationis, Br. 


Genut Danais, Latreille. 

Vanessa Antiopa, Br. 


Family . . Bombycid». ' 

Genut Attacus, Germar. 


Tabular View 0/ the thii 





) which 

occurred at 

Toronto, on Lake 

Ontario, in 1841, c 

mpiled from the Meteorological Heguter kept by 

Colonel Sabine, F.R 

S. at Toronto Observfdory. 

Month and 


honder| Cloud*. 



Shm Ported 














> s 




March 26 








May 22 








.. 24 










,. 25 






62 : 

June 5 



















„ 11 








.. 27 







„ 29 


1 < 





„ 30 


i • 





July 1 


1 8 












1 clea 

r sk 





r * 










„ t 













61 min. 











55- " 





ti6 •• 






68 " 











55 " 



1 Qrr 




60 " 

Aug. U 







63 " 












63 " 





61 " 

Sept. 2 



1 Dense 

' clouds 





64 " 








Den sely clou ded 



51 " 

.. 11 









53 •• 





49 ■' 









34 •• 

Oct 8 














111 12 

' / 

! ■ ' . -■ 




The Thunderstorm} (24) 0^1842 at Toronto. 

Llnhtumg Thnndor' 


Month and 


Foriijd ■? 

Jan. 30 j 
Feb. 4 1 
MarchT'Ttt'eesI sa nt 

., 10 

„ 3ft 

April 5 1 mo st s . 

verc storii 

May 11 I 1 


Juna 14 

•„ 17 

„ 27 

., SO 








Sept. 2 

,. 12 

» 13 

.. 14 

















1 Inc 


I ncles- 


he av 'y 

8t or m 

1 , I 

1 nc es- 
sa nt 

7 1 13 : 1 

IS' ^ 



densely clouded 

1 clou ded 


den sely ove r- 
I ca st 






1 d 










ely clonded 

ens e I 
eely clou 



ro-s trat i 

cirr ostrati 
sely clouded 

den sely clou Vied 

cir ro -B trat ji 
cir'ro-8 tratli 1 





ti i 

1 1 
Force ! S 

' 1 

3 - 

3 -J 


SE 1 


39 rain. 


N 1 


29 " 



34 ■' 



37 " 



36 " 





36 " 




49 " 
46 " 




42 •• 





47 " 



53 •' 




53 " 



46 " 



62 '• 



50 " 



77 , 
60 ". 




60 ■• 


60 " 





57 " 
;64 •■ 





59 " 


1*«"49 " 



63 " 






43 ■• 

Colonel Sabine, Toronto Obsenatory. 







t- ©» 











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While these volumes were waiting for the plates, I 
had the great satisfaction of receiving Professor Agassiz' 
important work on Lake Superior. 

It reminded me, by its clear style and pleeisant tone, 
of Darwin's " Voyage of the Beagle/' which almost 
produced a new epoch in geological science. 

1 am not, however, prepared a^ yet to assent to all . 
the doctrines of M. Agassiz. > 

i It is only in simple justice to myself that I venture 
to mention that the trap dykes of the north shore of 
Lake Superior, which the Professor thought so remark- 
able, were very fully described by me (with woodcuts), 
in 1824, in a paper nn the geography and geology 
of this lake, published in the eighteenth volume of 
Brande's " Quarterly Journal," and afterwards at 
Geneva, in French, by the late M. De Luc, as far as 
concerns the dykes. „ 

I may as well now add, that Captain Bayfield, in 
his valuable Memoir on Lake Superior (" Trans. Lit. 
Hist. Soc. Quebec"), corrects me when I state, that a 
westerly gale, lasting more than a day, will raise the 

VOL. 1!. A A 








water twenty or tjhirty. feet at Gargantua, Michipicotou, 
or Otter's Head^ places exposed to the accumulated 
force of waves travelling over 200 or 250 miles of un- 
obstructed and deep water. 

Captain Bayfield will kindly permit roe to observe, that 
at Fort Michipic(jtou the superintending officer showed 
me,; on the lake-shore, several shelves, rising to the 
above height, jjf pure, loose, naked s^tad, and said that 
they were the produce of winter storms. ' The level 
of such a vast body of water as Lake Superior is 
affected not only by *the winds, but by variations in 
atmospheric pressure to a certain degree local, which 
permit one part of the lake to rise while another is 

Ancient beaches are of firm texture, of materials 
varying in size qind kind, and are always more or less 
clothed with vegetation. 

My remark becomes the more credible when we find 
a similar elevation of.the lake surface stated as occur- 
ring on an, isle off Nipigon Bay, in the narrative part 
of Professor Ag^ssiz' volume, page 95. It is in the 
following words :[— 

, " We breakfasted on a barren island. Some logs, of 
" a foot or more in diameter, had be^ thrown to the 
" distance of fully 150 yards from ihe^ater's edge, 
" and 30 or 40 feet above its level." ^ 

London :— Printed by O. BarcUj, Cwtle St. Leicester Sq.